Friday 20 March 2020

Bernard Of Clairvaux - J.B. Midgley - CTS Great Saints

Bernard Of Clairvaux
CTS Great Saints
J.B. Midgley
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860826979
CTS Booklet B735

I have been working on tracking down and reading all 28 books by J.B. Midgley. Twenty-six of those books were for the Catholic Truth Society.  And 6 of those were from the CTS Great Saints Series. I have also read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series. And have loved most of them. Lately I have been focused more on this series, and a couple of others, almost alternating books in each series, and still have over a dozen in this series I want to read.  On top of finishing all the books written by Midgley. This volume was published in 2010 and as of the date of this review there is no eBook edition. To begin with I can easily state this is a great book, by an excellent author in an amazing series! 

The description on the back of the book is:

“Saint Bernard (1091-1153) reminds us that questions about God and the meaning of life cannot be answered without prayer and contemplation. Bernard led the influential Cistercian monastery of Clairvaux for thirty-eight years and put the love of God and Jesus Christ at the centre of his writings. He shows us that without deep faith in God that is strengthened by prayer, contemplation and an intimate relationship with Our Lord, our reflections on the divine mysteries risk being mere intellectual excursions that lose credibility. Saint Bernard is famous for his writings on Mary, the Mother of Jesus.”

And the chapters in this little volume are:

The Honey-tongued Doctor
The Early Years
Citeax: a life of Asceticism
Clairvaux Monastery
Bernard’s wider mission
Schism and its Aftermath
Eugenius III and the Second Crusade
The Good and Faithful Servant
The Writings of Saint Bernard
Devotion to Saint Bernard

It was intriguing to read of the life of this monk. He committed to living a life set apart, and of work and service. But in taking vows of obedience, he also chose the life of a servant. And when his superiors, bishops, cardinals, the pope and even kings called upon his. He tried to live for God and in obedience answered the calls. Reading about his many trips and journeys in this volume, I believe Saint Bernard travelled more miles in his life after entering the monastery that I have travelled, including all my work travels. 

What impressed me most was here was a man of great intellect. And yet he chose a life of service, And he served through his writings which still bear much influence today. And he severed by his obedience, and example of his holy life. This book left me wanting more. I have added some of his works to my to be read list and also want to track down a more detailed in depth biography.

This is a great read in an excellent series.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by J.B. Midgley:

Advent & Christmastide with the Saints
Antonio Rosmini
Benedict - Patron of Europe
Bernard of Clairvaux – CTS Great Saints
Charles Borromeo  - CTS Great Saints
Companion to St. Joseph
Companion to the Feasts of Mary
Companion to Saint Peter
Companion to Saint Paul
Companion to the Angels
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord
Dominic - CTS Great Saints
George: Patron of England - CTS Great Saints
Dewi Sant: St David Patron of Wales
Francis de Sales – CTS Great Saints
John Baptist de La Salle – CTS Great Saints
John Vianney – CTS Great Saints
Lent with the Saints
Nurturing the Young
Robert Bellarmine
Saint John the Baptist 
Stations of the Cross and Resurrection with the Saints
The Eucharist with the Saints
The Four Evangelists
Thomas Becket – CTS Saints of the Isles
Vincent de Paul – CTS Great Saints
Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic

Contributed to:
First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained 

Books in the CTS Great Saints Series:
Antonio Rosmini - J.B. Midgley
Bernard of Clairvaux - J.B. Midgley
Benedict Patron of Europe - J.B. Midgley
Charles Borromeo - J.B. Midgley
Dominic - J.B. Midgley
Elizabeth of the Trinity The Great Carmelite Saint - Jennifer Moorcroft
Francis de Sales - J.B. Midgley
Gemma Galgani Gem of Christ John Paul Kirkham
George: Patron of England - J.B. Midgley
John Baptist de La Salle - J.B. Midgley
John of the Cross - Jennifer Moorcroft
John Vianney - J.B. Midgley
Louis Marie de Montfort His Life, Message and Teaching - Paul Allerton SMM
Martin de Porres - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Patrick Missionary to the Irish - Thomas O’Loughlin 

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