Spiritual Friendship (St. Aelred)
144 pages, paperback
From the back cover:
Spiritual Friendship is today the best known and perhaps most influential of the thirteen surviving works of Aelred, abbot of the great English Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx from 1147-1167. During his abbacy he built Rievaulx into a place of spiritual welcome and physical prosperity, desiring to make it "a mother of mercy" to those in need. In a three-book Ciceronian dialogue Aelred defines human friendship as sacramental, beginning in creation, as God sought to place his own love of society in all his creatures, linking friends to Christ in this life and culminating in friendship with God in beatitude. This fresh new translation makes the work crisply readable, allowing the intellectual and Christian insight of this great Cistercian teacher and writer to speak clearly to today's seekers of love, wisdom, and truth.
About the Author: St. Aelred (1110–1167) served Rievaulx Abbey, the second Cistercian monastery in England, for twenty years as abbot. During his abbacy he wrote thirteen treatises, some offering spiritual guidance and others seeking to advise King Henry II. He also wrote thirty-one sermons as a commentary on Isaiah 13–16 and 182 surviving liturgical sermons, mostly addressed to his monks. Aelred of Rievaulx was an heir of Saxons living under Norman rule, a native speaker of English daily speaking French and Latin, a descendant of generations of married priests in an age when priests were forbidden to wed, an English monk in a French order, an abbot bred to service in the church but trained for service in the court. His sermons and treatises reflect Aelred the monk, the novice-master, and abbot.