St. Aelred Monastery Manila
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St. Aelred (1110-1167)
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We give our own translation of St. Aelred's definition of friendship (from Spiritual Friendship). Like Cicero's, it was written in Latin. Most translations use big words. We try to portray the meaning of those words.
oneness of Heart, Mind and Spirit,
in things human and divine,
with mutual esteem
and kindly feelings
of approval and support."
In Mirror of Love (Speculum Caritatis), we find a delightfully human description of what a friend is. This is indeed a model for true friendship, that is, friendship with love.
A True Friend
It is such a great joy to have the consolation of someone's affection;
- someone to whom I am deeply united in the bonds of love;
- someone with whom my weary spirit can find rest;
- and to whom I may pour out my heart;
- someone whose conversation is as sweet as a song in the tiring times of daily life;
- someone whose presence is a harbor of calm when my life is rocked on the choppy seas of life;
- someone to whom I can lay bare all my thoughts and secrets;
- someone whose spirit will give me the comforting kiss that heals all the sickness of my troubled heart;
- one who will cry with me when I am upset and rejoice with me when I am happy;
- the one I can talk to when I need advice or good judgement;
- someone so closely bound to my heart and soul that even when far away is together with me in spirit;
- when the world falls asleep all around us, our souls will be embraced in absolute peace;
- our hearts will lie quiet together, united in our oneness, as the grace of the Holy Spirit flows over us;
- with heart and mind together, we are bound by the closest ties of love.