Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,

St. Bernard of Clairvaux is a doctor of the Church and one of the most prolific writers on the love of God. The following is a passage of his reflecting on the love of bridegroom and bride as expressed in the Song of Songs. I include it as a reflection on love in honor of St. Valentine’s Day:

Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.

The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love, and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?

Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone; in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom, creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a thirsty man with the fountain.

What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance? Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of two hearts that complete and total marriage consists. Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?

In the love of the Bridegroom,

Fr. Dave





The 2022 Annual Appeal is here! This year’s theme is From God’s Abundance, Our Gifts of Charity to remind us that everything we have and share with others is from our loving Father. Through our collective support of the Annual Appeal, we strengthen the Body of Christ that is our local Church, and we sustain her many charitable works that serve the spiritual and other needs of all those within and beyond our parish boundaries. We ask you to make a commitment to the 2022 Annual Appeal next weekend. Learn more about the Annual Appeal at



The Mother Teresa Vocation Society will host a Morning of Recollection on Saturday, February 19, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at our parish, St. Martin of Tours. Father David Wells, pastor, will be the presenter. His talk will be: “Only Say the Word and My Soul Shall Be Healed.” The morning will begin with 9 a.m. Mass, followed by Adoration and the Reflection. Confessions will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. All are welcome to attend!


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