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 . Spiritual Friendship (Monastic Studies) [Aelred of Rievaulx] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Throughout his life, Aelred took great joy in. Spiritual Friendship has ratings and 39 reviews. Sally said: This short book was written in the form of a dialog between the author, Aelred (

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This is true, but what Aelred is emphasising here is that once the gift of friendship is given, you must make a conscious choice to be committed to the relationship, and this element of choice means that the relationship will be free, that each exercises personal responsibility for the friendship.

Jul 23, Noah Moerbeek rated it it was amazing. What was so obvious for Aelred was not at all apparent for his contemporaries. In this light, as an Abbot to his sons, Aelred is wanting to instill in their understanding what he himself had come to understand for himself about the operation of natural affection when fused with the impulse of spiritual love.

Am learning about his definition of friendship among Christians. Considering this was written almost a thousand years ago it eclipses many what some consider masterpieces. Answers such questions as, “What is the origin of friendship? The demands of life as a new faculty member left little time for friendship, and the fact that the decision about my tenure would be largely in the hands of my peers, made it difficult for me to really open up to my colleagues.

I grew tired of reading it after 25 pages in and skipped the rest of it. It appears Walter Daniel is encouraged to write this biography by a senior Religious to undermine criticism that in life Aelred was an ambitious person seeking likeability. During his abbacy he built Rievaulx into a place of spiritual welcome and physical prosperity, desiring to make He was very much a person of his age, which was referred to as the Age of Friendship.

Aelred of Rievaulx: on spiritual friendship –

Inspiiritual was elected abbot of Rievaulx itself, a position he was to hold until his death. During the early weeks of our course I was particularly struck by an overriding 6 B. Aelred and Bernard of Clairvaux are connected in this text. At his death there were three hundred, between choir monks and lay brothers, in the community. This new edition provides an especially good introduction, extensive bibliography of sources, translations and secondary studies and a crisp, new translation.


In this context, biographer becomes subsumed into the role of infirmarian. Nevertheless, there is still good insight into the nature and types of friendship. Real friendship always includes a third person, the Lord Jesus. Oct 23, Catherine rated it it was amazing.

Though written around a thousand years ago, the wisdom in the book is still ever as relevant today. This book builds a dialogue on friendship, among two and three people, the effect of which is to draw you in. 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.

Douglass Roby’s introduction, incidentally, could just as well have been written in as 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: We therefore have the sense, throughout, of eavesdropping where we’re not wanted.

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 — Published April 4th by Cistercian Publications first published If a person had to ask me what is the best book on friendship, I would not hesitate to point to this work.

Excellent reference on spiritual friendship. He also speaks to those who spend hours exploring and probing the human need for intimacy, for deep human relationships based on self-disclosure and mutual acceptance, because he provides us with a Christo-centric view of these relationships. The first dialogue is situated within the daughter-house at Warden, Bedfordshire, about miles south of Rievaulx. Paperbackpages. The book club that I am a part of recently read and discussed this work – and I was surprised to hear that very few people felt that it was relevant to their relationships or even all that interesting.

Aelred came from a family of married priests, his father and grandfather both ministered in Hexham, the last of a dying generation as Rome sought to impose its standard on the far western Celtic Christian tradition. The great flaw of this treatise is that it assumes that friendship is a categorical affair: This choice, then, is called love and is an act of the soul.


Spiritual Friendship

About Aelred of Rievaulx. It proves itself a true companion in all things, adverse and prosperous, joyful and sad, pleasant and bitter, beholding with the same eye the humble and the lofty, the poor and the rich, the strong and the weak, the healthy and the infirm. Cistercian Publications Burton, J, Monastic and Religious Orders in Britain: Some type of monk also.

I know only to well, and hold myself in deep displeasure, that I am a sinner, and have failed much in my service, not to the King whom I serve on earth, but to the King of Heaven.

Aelred of Rievaulx

Fantastic book, quite short but packed with awesome truths. In our day, or at least in my life, true friendship seems to be rare and undervalued. It’s a dialogue between Aelred, a Cistercian abbot, and a couple of his groupie friends in the monastery. The book is presented in a dialogue format with Aelred spirltual to some younger monks about friendship.

Not so, not so with Aelred. Skip to main content.

Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx

What could an obscure twelfth century monk teach us twentieth century sophisticates about spiritual relationships? The decision of whether or not to do wrong for the sake of a friend is almost a non-issue for Aelred: Selected pages Title Page.

Christian relationships are demanding and his criteria could friendshkp helpful for those responding to the call to Christian marriage, those engaged in relationships of spiritual accompaniment, those endeavouring to revitalise Christian community, as well as the monastics for whom Aelred wrote so beautifully. For Aelred, friendship is a specific case of the more general phenomenon of love. To ask other readers questions about Spiritual Friendshipplease sign up.