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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Effeminate, coiffeured young men, dressed up like courtesans, strut around with their rumps half bare. This would be reasonable enough as it would seem to make enormous demands on the persons involved, and there are relatively few who will be able or ready to allow us enter the inner sanctuary of their heart. Real friendship always includes a third person, the Lord Jesus.

Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx

Jerome, Augustine, and reacts against stoic views of Seneca, as well as utilitarian views of “wordly” friendship that are still very much alive and well in our culture.

This treasure trove of wisdom is certainly useful in coming to a deeper appreciation of the riches we have or should desire to have in our friends. Want to Read saving…. Qualities of friendship In his third series of conversations, Aelred describes the qualities which should be found in a spiritual friend, in ourselves or the other.

And thus Sovereign Nature has established all natures, has arranged all things in their places, and has discreetly distributed all things in their own times. Until fairly recently, the only true friends I had were those relationships that I formed in graduate school.

It took me a long time to realize that my heart longed for something more—for that true friendship that Aelred describes. The first dialogue is situated within the daughter-house at Warden, Bedfordshire, about miles south of Rievaulx.


There is such a thing as friendship based on agreement to do evil, e. Therefore, if we begin with Christ, the ascent to friendship does not seem too difficult or unnatural, since it is Christ who inspires the love with which we esteem a friend.

These are loyalty, discretion, right-intention and patience. Aelred was a Scot from the 12th century. The flow of the text meanders at times, but generally provides a cogent account of what constitutes—and what falls short of—true spiritual companionship. This choice, then, is called love and is an act of the soul.

After his retirement inhe devoted himself to Cistercian scholarship, publishing numerous articles and translating in four volumes all the works of the English Cistercian abbot Gilbert of Hoyland.

Mar 29, Karl Steel rated it liked it Shelves: In a remote part of North Yorkshire, deep in a valley that runs into the market town of Helmsley is the remote site of Rievaulx Abbey. Finally Aelred admits that this spiritual friendship is something we will experience with only a few people, perhaps even only one, in this life. And though in all other respects animals are rated irrational, yet they imitate man in this regard to such an extent that we almost believe they act with reason.

Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Spiritual Friendship

He insists that friendship springs directly from God, allowing one of Aelred’s interlocutors in the dialog to propose the formula “God is friendship. Throughout his life, Aelred took great joy in his friends and he believed that by loving and being loved by them, we learn to accept and return God’s infinitely greater and enduring love. Aelred, -the person- himself.


An Much wisdom and insight here on the subject firendship friendship. In the initial stages of friendship he suggests we focus on four criteria:. Excellent reference on spiritual friendship.

Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship, a new translation, Williams

Dutton, professor of medieval literature and director of graduate studies in English at Ohio University, is a longtime student of the works of Aelred of Rievaulx and of other twelfth-century Cistercian writers. Feb 16, Karen rated it really liked it. Aelred also implicitly shows the dangers of friendship through the squabbling of Gratian and Walter.

Douglass Roby provides a splendid introduction to Aelred’s Spiritual Friendshipproviding details of Aelred’s life and placing this work in the context of its time. His treatise On Spiritual Friendship is presented in the form of dialogues or imaginary conversations berween himself and three other monks. Cicero struggled with the limits of friendship–how far should one go for the sake of friend?

Throughout spiritkal dialogue, in fact, Aelred and his several companions express their wish to be alone with each other, to exclude others, meaning other monks, from their conversation and thus from Aelred’s lessons. 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. Fantastic book, quite short but packed with awesome truths.

Crucially, the thread that runs throughout his argumentation, and I conjecture his reflected life experience is the correlation between worldly friendships and a lacking in spiritual growth and understanding in Christ. So agreeableness follows agreeableness, sweetness follows sweetness, and affection follows affection.