Bernard of Clairvaux

Obey your bishop! “Obey those set over you [Heb 13:17],” the teachers of the Church… I remind you, my dear friends, of what I said when I was with you: do not receive any outside or unknown preacher, unless he be sent by your bishop or preaches with the permission of the pope. For “how shall they preach unless they are sent [Rom 10:15]?”

I do a great wrong in His sight, when I beseech Him that He will hear my prayer, which as I give utterance to it, I do not hear myself. I entreat Him that He will think of me; but I regard neither myself nor Him. Nay, what is worse, turning over corrupt and evil thoughts in mine heart, I thrust a dreadful offensiveness into His presence.

“My burden is light,” said the blessed Redeemer, a light burden indeed, which carries him that bears it. I have looked through all nature for a resemblance of this, and seem to find a shadow of it in the wings of a bird, which are indeed borne by the creature, and yet support her flight towards heaven.

There are some who wish to learn for no other reason than that they may be looked upon as learned, which is ridiculous vanity … Others desire to learn that they may morally instruct others, that is love. And, lastly, there are some who wish to learn that they may be themselves edified; and that is prudence.

Thus understanding and love, that is, the knowledge of and delight in the truth, are, as it were, the two arms of the soul, with which it embraces and comprehends with all the saints the length and breath, the height and depth, that is the eternity, the love, the goodness, and the wisdom of God.