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. The Rievaulx library catalogue also lists an otherwise unknown De fasciculo frondium, and Walter Daniel notes that pf composed a liturgical homily on Luke It’s a dialogue between Aelred, a Cistercian abbot, and a couple of his groupie friends in the monastery.

Spiritual Friendship – Aelred of Rievaulx – Google Books

And the Letter to Maurice [Tr. It is cupidity that can breed jealousies, factions and divisiveness, whereas “true love builds up the community and can only serve to unify, not to tear apart” Roby, p. Apr 04, Stephen Gregg rated it really liked it. The visit turned out to be the life, for Aelred never returned to Scotland. Notably, Aelred treats these exclusions not morally but practically. Not so, not so with Aelred. Lists with This Book. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Aelred of Rievaulx: on spiritual friendship –

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. One of the best books that I’ve read. 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.


Aelred also implicitly shows the dangers of friendship through the squabbling of Gratian and Walter. Much of what he has to say would fly in the face of today’s outlook, but it certainly resonates with the desire This book was a nourishing and insightful read.

Spiritual Friendship

He may have been partially educated by Friendsip of Durham, who sent him a hagiography of Saint Brigid. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Framing the question To the reader of this paper, I intend to cajole you into a unique space. From —Aelred served as novice master at Rievaulx.

Fgiendship Writings of the Twelfth Century [London: Indeed, this is for him to be always resting, that is, always existing, in his ever gracious charity, in his ever peaceful will and in his ever abounding goodness. Views Read Edit View history.

Indeed, the person who merits inclusion in the inner circle of friendship is, as in Cicero, an alter ego, but it is–contra Cicero–an alter ego guided by God, by service to the state, by adherence to the lawsand especiallyand thus wholly bounded within various predictable legal structures.

Steeped in Celtic traditions He was brought up in Northumbria, which was steeped in the traditions of Celtic monasticism, and stories of holy men and women who kept alive the flame of faith brought by Aidan, the Irishman from Iona, in the seventh century. Aelred, while cognizant of the need to be watchful for and vigilant against the potential dangers, nonetheless maintained that true friendship is a virtue that is not only worth pursuing but is positively necessary for one to be truly human: I bought it after a trip to Fountains Abbey and spent the next couple of months sneaking out of the Soho ad agency where I worked to read it in a nearby catholic church.

A must read for those seeking meaningful and intimate relationships that are more than skin deep. In this sense, it is gift.


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.

Aelred was born in HexhamNorthumbriain[1] one of three sons of Eilaf, rievvaulx of St Andrew’s at Hexhamhimself a son of another Eilaf, treasurer of Durham. For Aelred all the advantages of friendship are secondary by comparison with the value of the relationship itself.

Jun 16, Charlotte Jones rated it it was amazing. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Aelred of Rievaulx

And what was it that I delighted in, but to love, and be loved? It became clear at an early stage of his monastic life that Aelred had a gift for directing others, a capacity which was marked by compassion and gentleness. But what happiness, what security, what joy to have someone to whom you dare to speak on siritual of equality as to another self; one to whom you need have no fear to confess your failings; one to whom you can unblushingly make known what progress you have spiritula in the spiritual life; one to whom you can entrust all the secrets of your heart and before whom you can place all your plans!

There can be love without friendship, but friendship without love is impossible” Book 3: Dictionary of the Middle Ages, volume 4.