Bernard of Clairvaux observes in his Selected Works: “Surely it is their own fault that this world, which lies in the Evil One’s grip, deludes with vain promises souls who forget their creation and their dignity, souls who are not ashamed to feed swine, to keep company with swine in their desires, and not even then to be satisfied with their disgusting food? From this comes such infirmity of purpose and wretched abjection that this noble creature is not ashamed to live in slavery to this foulness of the body’s senses, although he is capable of enjoying eternal blessedness and the glory of God’s greatness.
“God created him by his own breath, distinguished him by making him in his own likeness, redeemed him by his blood, gave him faith, adopted him by the Spirit. When the soul deserts such a Bridegroom and pursues such lovers (Hosea 2:7), it is not surprising that it cannot grasp the glory that is prepared for it. It is fitting that it should hunger for husks and not be given them, when it preferred to feed pigs rather than feast at the Father’s table (Luke 15:16).
“It is the work of madness to feed what is barren and brings forth nothing, to be unwilling to give anything to the widow, to care nothing for the heart and to give the flesh everything it wants, to fatten and caress a putrid body that is destined before long to be the food of worms. For who is unaware that to worship mammon, to serve avarice (which means serving idols), or to chase eagerly after vanity is clear evidence of a degenerate soul?”
Image Credit: “The Return of the Prodigal Son.“