seen in St. Peter's Church in Leuven or Louvain/Flanders, Belgium
"A large and elaborate oak pulpit, which is transferred from the abbey church of Ninove, is carved with a life-size representation of Norbert of Xanten falling from a horse. In 1115, when Norbert, a middle-aged deacon attached to the episcopal court of Cologne, sat stunned by the side of a road, the fullest implications of reform were revealed, at the most local level of a person’s heart. While riding with some companions, Norbert had fallen from his horse when he heard a voice denouncing him. He sat on the ground, and suddenly, the words of the Psalmist, “Turn from evil and do good” (Ps 34:15), took extraordinary hold of his heart. Unsure of precisely what to do next, he vowed nonetheless to follow the Gospel. In that resolution, Norbert had begun to articulate his understanding of true reform: all Christians were called to a renewed commitment to God’s Word.
St. Norbert of Xanten became one of the most famous men of his age, yet he has grown relatively obscure in the memory of later centuries. His renowned contemporary, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, recognized Norbert’s gifts after being in his presence, calling him a “heavenly water pipe.” Unlike with St. Bernard, however, whose own eloquence as doctor mellifluus fills eight volumes of his collected works, not a single written word of Norbert’s exists. His life as a wandering poor man of Christ, a pauper Christi, tramping barefoot through the snow and preaching the Gospel, was also overshadowed a century later by the lives of Sts. Francis and Dominic and those legions of mendicants they inspired, who walked over Europe in vast numbers. Yet, Norbert was to his own time a “new light,” whose efforts helped lay the foundations for the renewal of the Church."
Excuse my lack of comments today, I'm on way to the Rembrandt - exhibition in Cologne.
But my thoughts are with GB today!
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