From Matins of Corpus Christi, Second Nocturn, a Sermon of St. Thomas Aquinas: Immensa divinae largitatis beneficia, exhibita populo Christiano, inaestimabilem ei conferunt dignitatem. Neque enim est, aut fuit aliquando tam grandis natio, quae habeat deos appropinquantes sibi, sicut adest nobis Deus noster. Unigenitus siquidem Dei Filius, suae divinitatis volens nos esse participes, naturam nostram assumpsit, ut homines deos faceret, factus homo. Et hoc insuper, quod de nostro assumpsit, totum nobis contulit ad salutem. Corpus namque suum pro nostra reconciliatione in ara Crucis hostiam obtulit Deo Patri, sanguinem suum fudit in pretium simul et lavacrum: ut redempti a miserabili servitute, a peccatis omnibus mundaremur. Ut autem tanti beneficii jugis in nobis maneret memoria, corpus suum in potum, sub specie panis et vini sumendum, fidelibus dereliquit.
But what (I can hear you thinking!) does St. Bernard, a Cistercian monk in the 12th century, have to do with the traditional Latin Mass ? The connection is elucidated by Fr. Cassian Folsom -- abbot of the Benedictine monks of Norcia, but haling from our very own Red Hook, NY -- in a piece entitled "Cultus, Culture, and Counterculture" in a recent edition of the Adoremus Bulletin. He writes: "In the Middle Ages, the monastic culture was perhaps the highest expression of what the Catholic culture in general aspired to be: a holy order with God as the center....Monastic life is God-centered, theocentric. Our society is anthropocentric, with the focus on the individual. This contrast is often experienced in the liturgy. As I have argued elsewhere, many of the post-conciliar liturgical reforms were based on an Enlightenment anthropology, and when young people (with no nostalgic baggage of any kind) experience the traditional Mass in the Extraordinary Form, they see at once that this action, in the first place, is about God."
St. Bernard lived and breathed a monastic culture which, like the traditional Latin Mass, is fundamentally oriented to God. jab
I've been asked why LMS adopted St. Bernard of Clairvaux as its patron saint. Many reasons, to be celebrated over many Varia posts!
But let's start with this one. LMS grew out of the Latin Mass community at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Way, and early on placed itself under Our Lady's protection. We begin every meeting by reciting the Angelus. St. Bernard is the preeminent singer of the love of the Virgin Mary. Both the Memorare and the Salve Regina are attributed to him. Living from 1090 to 1153, during the age of the troubadors and trouveres in France and Provence, he translated the secular ideal of courtly love into the medieval cultus of the Virgin Mary which we celebrate to this day. In return, the Blessed Mother favored him most curiously with what tradition calls the lactatio Sancti Bernardi, glorious images of which are readily to be found on the world wide web ! jab