2nd Letter of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux to Saint Malachy of Armagh

[Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and Saint Malachy of Armagh]To Malachy. 1141 or 1142.

To Malachy, by the grace of God bishop, legate of the Apostolic See, Brother Bernard, called to be abbot of Clairvaux, if the prayer of a sinner can do anything, and if the devotion of a poor man is of any advantage.

We have done what your holiness commanded, not perhaps as it was worthy to be done, yet as well as was possible considering the time in which we live. So great evil everywhere struts about among us that it was scarcely possible to do the little that has been done. We have sent only a few grains of seed, as you see, to sow at least a small part of that field into which the true Isaac once went out to meditate, when Rebekah was first brought to him by Abraham’s servant, to be happily joined to him in everlasting marriage. And the seed is not to be despised concerning which we find that word fulfilled at this time in your regions, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. I, therefore, have sown, do you water, and God shall give the increase. All the saints who are with you we salute through you, humbly commending ourselves to their holy prayers and yours. Farewell.