Aelred was an English Cistercian monk of remarkable inner sanctity who was encouraged by St. Bernard of Clairvaux to write about Christian perfection. In time he founded a new monastery at Revesby and then became Abbot of Rievaulx. Under his care the abbey grew to 600 monks, and he wrote another book called “Spiritual Friendship,” which celebrates close human relationships, like the love between Jesus and St. John the Divine. Men bond with each other, and women with women, in ways that are different from cross-gender relationships, and that’s a holy thing. (Source unknown)

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