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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His book is sporitual of three sections: A simple and illuminating treatise on degrees of friendship. No trivia or quizzes yet. He references Cicero and his treatise on friendship which I picked up for later readingbut presents his thoughts on friendship, sharing his experience–mostly from his time being a monk.

Spiritual Friendship – Aelred of Rievaulx – Google Books

At a time when human love in all its aspects has been trivialised and de-sacralised, when the pleasure principle is given priority and recreational sex is commonplace, he emphasises the demands that authentic love makes. I suppose that at least we are being honest to not even pretend that networking is a form of friendship, but I worry about promulgating the perception that true friendship is not a necessary ingredient of a happy life.

Real friendship always includes a third person, the Lord Jesus. Changed the way I see friendships. Brian Patrick McGuire portrays Aelred as attracted to other males, but concludes that ” Jun 16, Charlotte Jones rated it it was amazing.

Apr 15, Kenneth rated it it was amazing. 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. In our subject the primary texts reveal a person who is disposed to self-disclosure. Because friendship is a precious gift, we should be discerning about those whom we choose as friends, and not establish relationships based on either mere whim or animal attraction!


Spiritual Friendship

Aelred gives us an opportunity to ponder questions such as these. This is the kind of book to meditate on and come back to. Because Aelred’s treatise responds to Cicero’s treatise on friendship, I’m at a disadvantage, at least until I read the Cicero.

I greatly appreciate his distinction between love and friendship, the way the high calling of friendship corresponds to the exclusive nature of friendship, and even his thoughts on when a friendship needs dissolving only when a friend is acting counter to the very nature of friendship.

What therefore is more pleasant than to unite oneself to the spirit of another and the two to form one The pastoral truth is that people slide into friendships with each other.

Aelred of Rievaulx

All of these qualities come together in Christ, they are advanced through Christ, and in Christ they are perfected. All of Aelred’s works have appeared in translation, most in English and in French; the remaining three volumes of his sermons are being translated into English and will appear from Cistercian Publications in — I had only colleagues whom I needed to please in order to gain their approval, and acquaintances whom I tried to love, but without much natural affection or connection.

Douglass Roby provides a splendid introduction to Aelred’s This short book was written in the form of a dialog between the author, Aelredwho was the abbot of the monastery at Rievaulx in Yorkshire, and a few of his monks.

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. An interesting read that renewed my gratitude for my closest friends. A book that emerges from the dark walls of Benedictine monastic life at the beginning of the Middle Ages, yet this timeless religious classic on spiritual friendship still echoes relevantly to our age.

If a person had to ask me what is the best book on aelrd, I rievwulx not hesitate to point to this work.

Answers such questions as, “What is the origin of friendship? Spiritual Friendship reads like a platonic dialogue whose logos has been imbued with Christian love.


A knight had cultivated a deep loathing for Aelred and had begun publically slandering and abusing him at court: Despite what the eye sees, it is difficult to describe this spectacle as ruins, because with seemingly little effort, the imagination can rebuild what once was.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. It took me a long time to realize that my heart longed for something more—for that true friendship that Aelred describes.

Aelred of Rievaulx – Wikipedia

Qualities of friendship In his third series of conversations, Aelred describes the qualities which should be spiritial in a spiritual friend, in ourselves or the other. This book was a nourishing and insightful read. 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 short book was written in the form of a dialog between the author, Aelredwho was the abbot of the monastery at Rievaulx in Yorkshire, and a few of his monks. I do understand that Aelred swapped out Cicero’s classical examples for examples from the Biblical histories. Retrieved from ” https: Acts of Religion]and to advance rational guidance above all other concerns Aelred was a Scot from the 12th century.

It has been said that you cannot choose your friends, they are given as gift. 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 kf.

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