Full moon over Abbey Church, while monk strolls a moon-lit path

Br. William on the biblical book, the Song of Songs, as interpreted by our Blessed William of St. Thierry and the Cistercian tradition:
The title of the book, “The Song of Songs” is a construction commonly used in Scriptural Hebrew to show something as the greatest and most beautiful of its class. The title thus indicates to us that it is the greatest of all Love Songs.
Among Christians, the Song of Songs is interpreted as describing the Conventual love of Christ for His Church. In medieval mysticism, it was construed to apply to the love between Christ and the human soul.
In the 12th and early 13th centuries, The Song of Songs was a favorite book of Cistercian monks. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Gilbert of Hoyland, John of Ford, and Blessed William of St. Thierry read it as a mystical dialogue between Christ the Bridegroom and the human soul, the Bride.
William of St, Thierry presents LOVE to us as that experience by which the soul experiences, whatever it may experience, of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit Himself.
He says that Christ, the Word made flesh, drew so near to the soul that He wedded her to Himself, so that “God might become man and man might become God.”
The Soul, now being converted to the Lord, walks in newness of life. This Holy work in the heart of the lover is not the affair of a single day but requires considerable time.
In total purity, the Soul loves no one saves the Bridegroom. If she loves anyone else she would not be the Bride. She presses forward on one straight path toward the goal of her desire- she does not wander or err, and eventually reaches her end. We can liken this single-hearted determination to the monastic vocation.
God bless you,
Your brothers of New Clairvaux,
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