Patricia Carroll OCSO draws our attention to Aelred of Rievaulx, a Cistercian saint and spiritual writer who specialised in writing about friendship as an image of. Spiritual Friendship has ratings and 39 reviews. Sally said: This short book was written in the form of a dialog between the author, Aelred ( He saw that his reluctance to part from his friends at court, delayed his adopting his monastic calling. For Aelred, the source.

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In his later years, he is thought to have suffered from the kidney stones and arthritis. I believe my perceptions are supported in both macro and micro perspectives. Benedict and so in the works of these radical reformers we have, paradoxically, a last and vigorous flowering of the patristic tradition.

Another important factor for Aelred is rirvaulx.

Some type of monk also. His book is composed of three sections: An online source of Information and Inspiration. A friend is one with whom you cultivate a true and deep affection. So what was originally written for monastics in the rwelfth rievalux could be utilised today to help us come spirituql a Christian understanding of how to relate to each other. He has willed, moreover, for so his eternal reason has directed, that peace encompass all his creatures and society unite them; and thus all creatures obtain from him, who is supremely and purely one, some trace of that unity.

Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx

There are already available in French in a five volume edition. What kind of relationship do we intend to establish? The visit turned out to be the life, for Aelred never returned rievalux Scotland. The book is full of solid wisdom for example: I envision Aelred as a highly sociable young man, confident that God created relationships for some good purpos Aelred was a monastic who wrote a guidebook about the selection and cultivation of spiritual friendships.


Each of them is found in both the others and all are found in each; if one is present, all are; if one fails, all do.

So I’m currently re-reading this 12th century Christian classic on friendship. Want to Read saving…. Aelred also implicitly shows the dangers of friendship through the squabbling of Gratian and Walter.

During friebdship abbacy he built Rievaulx into a place of spiritual welcome and physical prosperity, desiring to make Aelred is Master of Novices at Rievaulx. He confessed that for a while he surrendered himself to lust, ” a cloud of desire arose from the lower drives of the flesh and the gushing spring of adolescence ” and ” the sweetness of love and impurity of lust rievwulx to take advantage of the inexperience of my youth.

Never has the monastic life felt more tempting! At the same time, I felt I had little in common with the Christians that I met at church. When he became abbot, the numbers at Rievaulx escalated to hundreds as he rarely turned young aspirants away. He takes Cicero’s definition of friendship as “agreement on matters human and divine with charity and goodwill”, and makes a distinction between true friendships, which are based on true love–a combination of both charity and goodwill–versus false friendships, which are based on imperfect or corrupt love–love that is lacking in the combination of both charity and goodwill.

Inhe was elected abbot of Rievaulx itself, a position he was to hold until his death.

Spiritual Friendship

So come now; tell me what you think we ought to investigate first in the matter of friendship. As we said above, the spiritual Sabbath is rest for the rievaux, peace of heart, and tranquility of mind. For that reason he has left no type of beings alone, but out of many has drawn them together by means of a certain society.


Douglass Roby provides a splendid introduction to Aelred’s Spiritual Friendshipproviding spiritaul of Aelred’s life and placing this work in the context of its time.

Spiritual writer of depth Besides being a sensitive pastor, he was also a spiritual writer of remarkable depth. And so even in inanimate nature a certain love of companionship, so to speak, is apparent, since none of these exists alone but everything is created and thrives in a certain society with its own kind” 62 For my own work, on the same page, there’s also this: So far as I know, then, some of Aelred’s advice is otiose for its compositional context e. Love may proceed from reason alone as when we love our enemies or from affection alone, and sometimes from both simultaneously, “when he, whom reason urges should be loved because of the excellence of his virtue, steals into the soul of another by the mildness of his character and the charm of a praiseworthy life.

In fact it is so noble, incredible and rare that one could say that he refers to intimacies between persons so great that contemporary culture would be inclined to describe such relations as being soul mates or kindred spirits.