Book Review: Intimacy in Prayer: Wisdom from Bernard of Clairvaux

intimacy-prayer-wisdom-bernard-clairvaux-1033969Here are your stats!

Title: Intimacy in Prayer: Wisdom from Bernard of Clairvaux
Author: St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Page Count: 91
Current Price: $7.95 (for this GEM of a book?!)

This book is written in such a way that you can easily marinate in the two page breaks for a week at least. This means that it’s a classic for sure and I will be referring to it often. When looking for a book to read I thought for sure that this would be a beautiful journey within a journey to be closer to our Lord. While this book certainly achieved that initial goal, it brought about something else: Intimacy in my marriage as well. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I are very close, but the passages and reflections on the Songs of Songs within this book are quite powerful and easy to apply to those already close relationships. Isn’t it that if you are married, it’s not just to your spouse, but to Jesus as well? I knew this logistically of course, but this book made it real to me in a personal sense. For example in part IV “An Intimate Love”:

…the one who asks for a kiss, she is a lover. Among all the natural endowments of man love holds first place, especially when it is directed to God, who is the source whence it comes. No sweeter names can be found to embody that sweet interflow of affections between the Word and the soul, than Bridegroom and Bride. (p. 13-14)

As a truly repentant Catholic and very devoted wife, this too felt like something I have always longed to express to my husband but never knew the words until I read this passage:

My days have lengthened like a shadow and passed without fruit. I cannot bring them back, but let it please you at least if I offer them to you in the bitterness of my soul. (p. 34)

St. Bernard of Clairvaux is reflecting on his love of God. It is mystical how it, for me was one in the same. I feel this love and bittersweet longing and sincerity for the union of my soul with that of my husband’s heart while at the same time for God and heaven.

Another indisputable resource are the scripture quotations at the end for each reflection broken up into the same parts of the actual book at the back misleadingly labeled “Notes”. I say misleading because I feel this is yet another book within a book – a further learning so to speak. There have to be at least a hundred of them and can be used in and of themselves to reflect upon quickly and daily. These reflections are transcribed from the original translations of St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s works.

I could go on, but then I would reveal everything. Instead, head on over and pick this up. I guarantee it will change how you relate with those closest to you. Especially and most beautifully with your spouse.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Intimacy in Prayer: Wisdom of Bernard of Clairvaux

This is my second review for The Catholic Company. I thought it would be a great way to introduce you to books that I wouldn’t necessarily pick up on the first passthrough. I welcome your thoughts, as always and hope you enjoy my takes on this book and future ones.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Intimacy in Prayer: Wisdom from Bernard of Clairvaux

  1. Cristina, sounds like another must-have book to add to my Amazon cart which overfloweth! 🙂 Love the Song of Songs…have a few commentaries on it. BTW, thank you for linking to my most recent post. How very kind of you! Extra prayers for you tonight. God bless!


  2. Reblogged this on Filling my Prayer Closet and commented:

    What does it mean when you Reblog yourself? Is it considered lazy? Phoning it in? Or is it simply re-celebrating a great Doctor of the Church – St. Bernard of Clairveaux who you remembered *on your way to the office, praying the Office* you wrote about sometime ago – and thought #forthewin.

    Yes, just that. Happy feast!


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