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 1147 '1167. 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. In a three-book Ciceronian dialogue Aelred defines human friendship as sacramental, beginning in creation, as God sought to place his own love of society in all his creatures, linking friends to Christ in this life and culminating in friendship with God in beatitude. 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.
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This book builds a dialogue on friendship, among two and three people, the effect of which is to draw you in. The conversation at first seems to be slow; the text discusses theory, but the style gives ... Read full review