Commentary of the Day

"Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
by Saint Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian monk

Unhappy Adam! What more could you possibly seek than the divine presence? Yet see how thanklessly you ponder your misdeed: “No! I will be like God!” (cf. Gen 3:5). What insufferable pride! You have only just been created out of clay and mud and, in your insolence, you want to be like God?... This is how pride brought forth disobedience, the reason for our misfortune...What humility is there that could make amends for such a pride? What human obedience is there that could redeem such a fault? Captives that we were, how could we set captives free? Tainted, how could we liberate those stained by sin? Is your creature to die, then, my God? “Have you forgotten pity? Do you in anger withhold your compassion?” (Ps 77[76]:10). Ah no! “My thoughts are thoughts of peace, not of woe”, says the Lord (Jer 29:11).O Lord, make haste, come quickly! Behold the tears of the poor; see, “the sighs of the prisoners come before you” (Ps 79[78]:11). What a happy time it will be, what a glad and desirable day, when the voice of the Father resounds: “Because of the misery of the wretched and the tears of the poor, now will I arise” (Ps 12[11]:6)... Yes, “Come yourself to save us, Lord, for there are no longer any more saints” (cf. Ps 12[11]:2).

From: Sermon for the Nativity