Aelred of Rievaulx,

from Spiritual Friendship

In this, truly, friendship shines forth with a special right of its own, that among those who are bound by the tie of friendship, all joys, all security, all sweetness, all charms are experienced.

And so in friendship are joined honor and charm, truth and joy, sweetness and good-will, affection and action. And all these take their beginning from Christ, advance through Christ, and are perfected in Christ. Therefore, not too steep or unnatural does the ascent appear from Christ, as the inspiration of the love by which we love our friend, to Christ giving himself to us as our Friend for us to love, so that charm may follow upon charm sweetness upon sweetness and affection upon affection. And thus, friend cleaving to friend in the spirit of Christ, is made with Christ but one heart and one soul, and so mounting aloft through degrees of love to friendship with Christ, he is made one spirit with him.

More Sayings from the Cistercian Fathers...

Visit a Twelfth Century Chat Room

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, from "The Twelves Steps of Humility and Pride"

Aelred of Rievaulx, from "Spiritual Friendship"

John of Ford, from "On the Song of Songs"

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, from "On Loving God"

William of St. Thierry, from "The Golden Epistle"

William of St. Thierry, from "The Golden Epistle"