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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Nov 07, Peter rated it it was amazing Shelves: In Christian friendship each one shares, each listens, each gives and receives; it is an adult relationship.

Charity alone is his changeless and eternal rest, his eternal and changeless tranquility, his eternal and changeless Sabbath… For his charity is his very well and also his very goodness, and all this is nothing but his being.

It’s a spiritula between Aelred, a Cistercian abbot, and a couple of his groupie friends in the monastery.

Spiritual Friendship

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. For instance, Walter Daniel records a visitation that Aelred made to Dundrennan. In presenting friendship this way, Aelred aims to minimize the engagement with the ‘wholly other,’ and therefore with vulnerability, surprise, hospitality in the openness treated by Derrida in [Book: In terms cultivating true friendship, Aelred advises “the beginnings of spiritual friendship ought to possess, first of all, purity of intention, the direction of reason and the restraint of moderation” Book 2: FOr me it is an excellent read that will provide the basis for fu I got interested in this book through reading Eve Tushnet’s Gay and Catholic because she talks about models of friendship as a spiritual category for all Catholics to think about.

Extant works [22] by Aelred include:.


Spiritual Friendship – Aelred of Rievaulx – Google Books

Log In Sign Up. As we said above, the spiritual Sabbath is rest for the spirit, peace of heart, and tranquility of mind. Written in the 12th century, the abbot Aelred of Rievaulx speaks eloquently of the kind of life that characterizes those called in the brotherhood of religious community, yet the very same aellred that comes from him speaks significantly in our age where relationships have become characterized by utility and impermanence.

What a great idea, this website. Jul 22, Maria Jo rated it really liked it Shelves: Benedict had a rather cool view toward particular friendships because of their potential to introduce favoritism, jealousies and divisiveness into the community of monks.

Aelred of Rievaulx – Wikipedia

He says that the reciprocal response we encounter in these relationships is a microcosmic image of what we shall discover eternally in God.

Do we value this relationship as gift, or are we seeking some reward other than the friendship itself? Inhe was elected abbot of Rievaulx itself, [10] a position he was to hold until his death. Criteria for discernment Not all friendship is spiritual. The fourteenth-century version of the Peterborough Chronicle states that Aelred’s efforts during the twelfth-century papal schism brought about Henry II’s decisive support for the Cistercian candidate, resulting in in the formal recognition of Pope Alexander III.

Aelred had died at Rievaulx during January ; this text emerges from that event. It is written conversation style between Aelred and some of his brothers with them asking Aelred for his wisdom.

In his later years, he is thought to have suffered from the kidney stones and arthritis. Cistercian Publications, It odes nt directly deal with the intricacies of modern friendship directly though its timeless axioms can certainly be applied with a bit of prayer and reasoning.

Aelred of Rievaulx

An interesting read that renewed my gratitude for my closest friends. About Aelred of Rievaulx.

According to Aelred in an authentic spiritual friendship the primary foundation of this spiritual love is the love of God, and this should be the main reference point for all that take place within the friendship. 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.


The author himself perceives this to be a companion to the Mirror of Charity and Tushnet offers some other works by homosexual Christians that build off of Spiritual 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.

Aelred had just offered the whole of creation as a mirror to teach friendship; yet here, with animals, he switches to having animals imitate humans; he refuses to let nonhuman animals instruct humans and insists on human primacy.

However, during the course of a journey while on business for the king, he came across Rievaulx, and was drawn by the beauty of the place and the austere simplicity of the White Monks.

Much of what he has to say would fly in the face of today’s outlook, but it certainly resonates with the desire of a soul to seek companionship and spiritual communion in the journey of life.

I grew tired of reading it after 25 pages in and skipped the rest of it. The book is presented in a dialogue format with Aelred talking to some younger monks about friendship.