Saturday, August 20, 2011

Looking ahead


By Father Perry D. Leiker

As we honor and celebrate our patron we recall his wonderful contributions to the church and his considerable influences.

Although coming from a very noble and wealthy family he chose the life of a monk. He lived in a cloister for more than 40 years. He founded 163 monasteries in different parts of Europe.

He was the first Cistercian monk to be placed on the church’s calendar of saints.

He was the confidant of popes and bishops and was instrumental in resolving a horrible historic moment when the Catholic Church had two men claiming to be pope.

He defended the church’s doctrines in an age when many heresies were springing up, and he eloquently preached and wrote of the deepest beliefs and mysteries of the church.

He was a profound reformer of monastic life and ultimately won over many, if not most, of his critics and those who initially disagreed with him; he reformed with charity and with clear purpose.

His writings were deeply appreciated and so significant as to "earn" him, by papal declaration, the title of doctor of the church. In the 63rd year of his life Bernard died, having had an enormous influence in the church, in society, in monastic life, and in the spirit and faith of countless men and women. Bernard was greatly blessed by God and shared those blessings abundantly throughout his life!

Nearly 1,000 years later in Glassell Park, he continues to bless!

Father Perry D. Leiker is parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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