“Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire... Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed (James 1:14). But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.” ― St. Bernard of Clairvaux: (1090 – 1153: was an abbot and a major leader in the revitalization of Benedictine monasticism)
Gospel Text: (Luke 13:18-21)
Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”
Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”
Reflect, today, upon this image of yeast causing dough to rise. Do you see this as an image of your soul? Do you see the Holy Spirit working on you little by little? Do you see yourself changing slowly but steadily? Hopefully the answer is “Yes.” Though conversion may not always take place overnight, it must be constant so as to enable the soul to progress to that place prepared for it by God.