Any soul, even laden with sins, captive of its vices, held by its pleasures, imprisoned in its exile, locked up in its body, nailed to its worries, distracted by its concerns, frozen by its fears, struck by manifold sufferings, going from error to error, eaten up by anxiety, ravaged by suspicion and, lastly, according to the prophet, a stranger in a foreign land... every soul, I say, in spite of its damnation and despair, can still find in itself reasons not only to hope for forgiveness and mercy but even to aspire to the wedding feast of the Word: as long as it does not fear to sign a covenant with God, and to place itself with Him under the yoke of love... For the Bridegroom is not only a lover: He is Love. You will say: yes, but is He not also honor? Some affirm this; as to myself, I never read anything of that kind. I have read that God is Love. St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Sermon 83, Song of Songs, as cited by Blaise Arminjon, S.J. in The Cantata of Love: a verse by verse reading of the Song of Songs, translator Nelly Marans, San Francisco: Ignatius Press (1988, reprinted 2005), 346-347.