Abbot John of Ford on Praise

Form Abbot John of Ford‘s Commentary on the Song of Songs:

Without any doubt, praise awakens love and preserves it. Hence it is that the citizens of Jerusalem feed the flame of eternal love by eternal praises. They cease not to cry aloud so as to be steadfast in love. Their cry has no rest, because love knows no intermission. So praise is the food of love.  And you, too, if deep within you there is a little spark of sacred love, do all you can to apply to this spark the oil of your praise, so that your tiny fire may live and grow.

[Laus siquidem amoris incentiua et custos est. Hinc est quod ciues Ierusalem laudibus aeternis aeterni amoris incendium nutriunt. Non cessant clamare, ut amare perseuerent. Non habet requiem uociferatio, quia non habet interpolationem dilectio. Laus ergo amoris pabulum est. Et tu, si amoris sacri penes te scintillulam habes, admoue sedulus scintillulae tuae laudationis oleum, quo uiuat et uegetetur igniculus tuus. (Sermo III, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Maediavalis, Vol. XVII, p 48)]


2 thoughts on “Abbot John of Ford on Praise

  1. “So praise is the food of love” is not far from the Bard’s “If music be the food of love, play on.” (Since Stratford is not too far from Forde, there may be dissertation in this.) The duke says he wants to kill love with surfeit but that’s an unrequited lovers lie.

    A beautiful quote and very rich. No doubt they “cry aloud” in song. This expression is reminiscent of the Vulgate. Perhaps some form of “clamare” as in Isiah 6:3, “Et clamabant alter ad alterum, et dicebant: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus, Deus exercituum; plena est omnis terra gloria ejus.”


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