Now, he is a biggie saint, St. Bernard was known for his humility, intellect, mediation skills, homilies…his influence helped build the Cistercian order and spread throughout Europe, with many conversions to faith. But for me, the big deal is that he composed one of my favorite prayers and one that I only pray when I’m really kinda desperate: The Memorare.
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
I don’t mean to say that this prayer or any prayer works as any sort of formula or incantation, God forbid! But what I mean is that it is a serious petition and I just don’t like to use it lightly, say for instance….”please help me get a parking place so I’m not late again.” Or, “please pray that these kids do a decent bedtime because I am so tired and I need to be done for today” (did I type that out loud? oops..). I use this prayer when the stakes are high and important because I know that Mary, as a mother, is faithful and wants our best good and so will take the important stuff to her son, Jesus. And I don’t want to be a pest. I want to approach in prayer, with this prayer, only when I’m really focused and the need is worth the pestering. Does that make sense? I hope so. Suffice it to say, St. Bernard also came from a big family (Seven kids, six boys, one girl…what is it with big families and saints…a training ground for holiness due to the forced coping with a certain level of chaos? Hmm, a mom’s gotta wonder…that’s my take on it anyhow and I’m sticking to it!) and he knows you don’t bug your mom without a good reason…..hence, this prayer.
Anyhow, I digress. St. Bernard is worth a look, he’s a Doctor of the Church and a big saint.
So, my Tom, and all, happy feast day!
St. Bernard, pray for us!