Sunday Morning Coffee: Bernard of Clairvaux

“You will never have real mercy for the failings of another until you know and realize that you have the same failings in your soul.


I have a set of three books called Then Sings my Soul.  Each contain about 150 of the world’s greatest hymn stories ,  Today (Saturday) I was reading about Bernard of Clairvaux, who lived from 1090-1153.  A godly and devoted man, he wrote  the words for two of the oldest hymns we still sing today:  Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee, and O Sacred Head Now Wounded.

I remember studying both of these beautiful hymns in college in my Hymnology class, and reading about them again today has the music flowing through my mind.

Then, further down the page, there were several quotes from Bernard. One of them is the opener for this blog. I love it.  The Lord has been teaching me a lot about mercy in the last couple of years.  It seems to crop up when I least expect it, and I’m paying attention, because there are no coincidences with God.

Often, I need to show mercy in my counseling office. My clients are often  people  for whom no one has shown mercy. They are broken, hurting, desperately seeking some assurance that they have some reason  to exist.

It seems to me that we need to understand some definitions.

Justice  is getting what you deserve

Grace is NOT getting what you deserve.

Mercy is getting what you do not deserve,

We need to be less quick to demand justice for others; more inclined to show grace and mercy.

It’s what Jesus offers us, after all.

4 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Coffee: Bernard of Clairvaux

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