The quote

What we love we shall grow to resemble.

seems remarkably popular. Although it is attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, it doesn't look like anyone who uses it knows which one of his works it came from or what the exact context of it is.

Can someone who is familiar with his work specify where it comes from?

  • Here's a place to start: ccel.org/ccel/bernard
    – Lucretius
    Jul 7 '15 at 3:13
  • I did a search for "resemble" in the three books listed on the ccel.org site and none showed the quote above.
    – Steve
    Sep 13 '15 at 23:17
  • A quick google book search revealed the earliest print source it knows of is Roos, Anna M. The Call of the Time. Stockholm: Bröderna Lagerstrom̈, 1933, page 28. I don't have access to that book to check it's references. Does anyone else? Check WorldCat! Dec 7 '16 at 17:03
  • I got a copy of Roos, who indeed attributes it to Bernard of Clairvaux, without attribution. Dec 11 '16 at 3:01

I have searched the writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, and was unable to find that exact quote. It's possible that your quote was a paraphrase of the original.

I do know that the closing sentence of "On the Love of God" is "Those who love God are one Spirit with Him." This seems to be close to the meaning, if not the actual words.

Often in history we don't know everything with absolute certainty, and the best we have is an incomplete picture based on what we know.


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