For over forty years Bernard of Clairvaux composed works of theology and spiritual reflection. He became the counselor of kings, nobles, popes, and scholars. He advocated a strong, reformed papacy and was the spiritual leader of the early twelfth-century European Church.Often overlooked, these short works by Bernard may well give readers their truest insight into the saint's sermons as his monks heard them. The Parables explore the spiritual meaning of Scripture directly and dramatically. The Sentences likely represent his sermon style before he polished his work for publication.