Bernard of Clairvaux - The grace of going forth in spirit
Type of Spiritual Experience
Quite a number of Christian saints [and Hindu or Buddhist masters] used the open air to obtain a spiritual experience. St Bernard used to go to the woods….
And here he writes about what he learnt from the trees and the stones ……..
A description of the experience
What I know of the divine sciences and the Holy Scriptures I learnt in the woods and fields. I have had no other masters than the beeches and the oaks… trees and stones will teach thee more than thou can acquire from the mouth of a magister
St Bernard – Sermon 49:4
If anyone obtains, while praying, the grace of going forth in spirit into the mystery of God, and then returns in a glowing ardour of divine love, overflowing with zeal for righteousness, fervent beyond measure in all spiritual studies and duties, so that he can say ‘My heart became hot within me; as I mused the fire burned’ since the abundance of love shows he has clearly begun to live in that state of good and salutary intoxication, he is not unjustly said to have entered the wine cellar. For as holy contemplation has two forms of ecstasy, one in the intellect, the other in will; one of enlightenment, the other of fervour; one of knowledge, the other of devotion; so a tender affection, a heart glowing with love, the infusion of holy ardour, and the vigour of a spirit filled with zeal, are obviously not acquired from any place other than the wine cellar
St Bernard – Cantica Canticorum – Sermon vii
Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth… who is it speaks these words? It is the Bride. Who is the Bride? It is the soul… she who asks this is held by the bond of love to Him from whom she asks it.. nor are there found any expressions equally sweet to signify the mutual affection between the Bride and the Bridegroom… and they possess nothing separate or divided, they have one inheritance, one dwelling place, one table. If then, mutual love is especially befitting to a bride and bridegroom, it is not unfitting that the name of the Bride is given to a soul which loves