Because the Abbot will have a special word for Palm Sunday and Easter, his on-going comments on Ailred of Rievaulx will appear here, this week and next.
Jesus teaches not only by word but by action. I might even say that Jesus teaches not so much by word as by action and his own example is before us: “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do”, he says in John’s Gospel. And these are now the days of following the example of the Master. Saint Ailred drives the point home when he writes about loving our enemies in the Mirror of Charity:
Nothing animates us so much to love of enemies–which is the perfection of fraternal charity–as grateful consideration of the Lord’s admirable patience. By it, the fairest of all the sons of men offered his comely face to the ungodly to spit on. By it, he subjected to the veil of the iniquitous the eyes whose glance governs all creation. By it, he bared his back to scourges. By it, he bowed to the sharpness of thorns, the head before which principalities and powers tremble. By it, he delivered himself up to insults and outrage. By it, finally, he patiently endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, all the while remaining mild, meek and calm.