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Monastic Studies Series

This series contains titles from monastic and ascetical writers throughout the history of monasticism. Both Eastern and Western Christian saints and ascetics are featured as the writers of these classics of spirituality that explore various aspects of the cenobitic and eremitic lifestyles. Ancient and contemporary exemplars of the monastic ideal are the subjects and contributors to this series dedicated to the benefits of religious orders.

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Homilies on the Gospels

Book One: Advent to Lent
ISBN: 978-1-60724-209-3
From the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, Bede's authority as a scriptural exegete was second only to that of the Doctors of the Latin Church. Yet modern readers associate this remarkable scholar-monk only with his History of the English Church and Nation and ignore the works he saw as his chief accomplishment.

The Art of Preaching

By Alan of Lille; Translation and Introduction by Gillian R. Evans
ISBN: 978-1-60724-206-2
Preaching was a much admired, much studied, and much practiced art by both abbots and secular clergy. This handbook designed for training future preachers gives moderns an insight into the technique and the content of those twelfth-century sermons.

The Celtic Monk

Rules and Writings of Early Irish Monks
ISBN: 978-1-60724-213-0
In the Early Middle Ages, the irish temperament—individualistic, poetic, and deeply loyal to family—produced great and learned saints and a unique monastic literature. Before the Norman Invasion, the isolation of the island allowed the development of traditions quite different from those of the continent or Britain. The rules, maxims, litanies, and poems of early irish monks convey the spirituality of the Isle of Saints in the sixth to eighth centuries.

The Spirituality of the Medieval West

From the Eighth to the Twelfth Century
ISBN: 978-1-60724-212-3
Defining spirituality as 'the dynamic unity between the content of a faith and the way in which it is lived by historically determined human beings', Vauchez steps outside the clerical world usually studied to trace the religious mentality of the laity, the ordinary and often illiterate majority of Christians.

Handmaids of the Lord

Contemporary Descriptions of Feminine Asceticism in the First Six Christian Centuries
Edited and Translated by Joan M. Petersen
ISBN: 978-1-60724-211-6
Throughout the Christian world, women have chosen to lead disciplined lives of prayer and asceticism. Descriptions of early role-models—Macrina, the two Paulas and Melanias, Radagunde—and others by contemporaries, usually men, provide details of their austerities, their aspirations, and their relationship with the Church and the world, not least with male authority figures.

The Spiritual Meadow

By John Moschos; Translation and Introduction by John Wortley
ISBN: 978-1-60724-210-9
'I have plucked the finest flowers of the unmown meadow and worked them into a row which I now offer to you', wrote John Moschos as he began his tales of the holy men of seventh-century Palestine and Egypt. This translation offers readers contemporary insights into the spirituality of the desert.

Commentary on the Seven Catholic Epistles

ISBN: 978-1-60724-208-6
Best known in the Middle Ages as a scriptural exegete, Bede here provides a running gloss on the Letters of James, Peter, John, and Jude. Why he chose these `lesser letters' for his first attempt at written exegesis no one knows; perhaps he did so because so few other scriptural commentators had glossed them. They are unique in that he inclined more to the literal interpretation of the text than he did in his more allegorical later commentaries. Preachers will find them useful; readers will find them illuminating.

Sermons on Conversion

By Bernard of Clairvaux; Translation and Introduction by Marie-Bernard Saïd
ISBN: 978-1-60724-207-9
The burgundian reformer abbot draws a picture of the perfect frontier bishop, and holds him up as a model for bishops everywhere. Conversion is used here not in the modern sense of transferring from one ecclesiastical body to another, but in the patristic and monastic sense of metanoia, turning one's entire being wholly to God.

The Letters, I

By Adam of Perseigne; Translated by Grace Perigo; Introduction by Thomas Merton
ISBN: 978-1-60724-205-5
These are the letters of Adam of Perseigne, Spiritual director to kings and clerics, nuns and nobles and adviser to Richard the Lion-hearted; Adam also found favor at the witty court of the Countess of Champagne.

Sermons on the Song of Songs, II

ISBN: 978-1-60724-204-8
Taking up Saint Bernard's unfinished sermon-commentary, Gilbert ruminates on verse 3:1-5:10 in forty-eight sermons, leaving the task to be finished by John of Ford.

In Praise of the New Knighthood

A Treatise on the Knights Templar and the Holy Places of Jerusalem
ISBN: 978-1-60724-203-1
The monk and the knight—the two quintessentially medieval European heroes—were combined in the Knights Templar, men who took the monastic vows and defended the holy places and pilgrims. With characteristic eloquence, Bernard of Clairvaux voices the cleric's view of the knights, warfare, and the conquest of the Holy Land in five chapters on the knight's vocation. Then, in another eight chapters the abbot who never visited the Holy Land provides a spiritual tour of the pilgrimage sites guarded by this 'new kind of knighthood.'

Eight Homilies on the Praises of Blessed Mary

ISBN: 978-1-60724-202-4
Amadeus became a monk of Clairvaux in 1125, just about the time its abbot, Bernard, began to be noticed by the Church at large. After twenty years in the cloister, Amadeus became bishop of the troubled diocese of Lausanne. Reform and renewal did not come easily. Amid political skullduggery, as well as the demands of pastoral and administrative duties, Bishop Amadeus managed to write–perhaps to preach–these eight homilies in praise of Mary. Formed as a monk under the charismatic influence of Saint Bernard, Amadeus retained a distinctive piety which finds eloquent expression in this series of sermons, almost all that survives from his pen.

Homilies in Praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary

ISBN: 978-1-60724-201-7
The young abbot meditates on the singular role of the Virgin Mother of Christ 'to satisfy [his] own devotion', and in doing so bequeathes his own love of Mary and of Scripture to his Order and to the Church.

The Mirror of Charity

ISBN: 978-1-60724-200-0
Aelred of Rievaulx possessed a personal charm which drew friends and disciples naturally to him. His own experience of human weakness in a worldly life at the court of King David of Scotland made him sensitive to the doctrine of charity which he found among Cistercian monks. The Mirror of Charity gives us a solid theology of the Cistercian life. Because the divine nature is love, as the Bible tells us, directing our love to God-love conforms us to the image of God that has been lost through sin. All love, to Aelred, is a participation in God-love that leads us to union.

Sermons on the Song of Songs, I

By Gilbert of Hoyland; Translation and Introduction by Lawrence C. Braceland SJ
ISBN: 978-1-60724-199-7
Taking up Saint Bernard's unfinished sermon-commentary, Gilbert ruminates on verse 3:1-5:10 in forty-eight sermons, leaving the task to be finished by John of Ford.

On Loving God

By Bernard of Clairvaux; Analytical Commentary by Emero Stiegman
ISBN: 978-1-60724-198-0
Perhaps Bernard's most delightful tract, On Loving God posits that everything good in human persons is an expression of God's love and by love the person may participate in the being of the triune God. In a new analytic commentary, Stiegman examines Bernard's language, logic, and theology, demonstrating the vital importance of reading medieval authors on their own terms, without superimposing categories developed by later generations.

The Steps of Humility and Pride

ISBN: 978-1-60724-197-3
The son of Burgundian nobility, Bernard admitted after years of struggle that humility remained for him the most elusive of the virtues. Yet the uncompromising vehemence of his love for God made him strive for what monastic tradition taught is indispensable to anyone hoping to share God's perfect love.

Sermons on the Christian Year

By Isaac of Stella; Translated by Hugh McCaffery; Introduction by Bernard McGinn
ISBN: 978-1-60724-196-6
A scholar turned monk, Isaac combined the increasingly technical vocabulary of the cathedral schools with the spiritual tradition of the monastery. Dialectic is here combined with meditative reflection.

The Life and Death of Saint Malachy the Irishman

By Bernard of Clairvaux; Translated and Annotated by Robert T. Meyer
ISBN: 978-1-60724-195-9
This book tells the life of a saint by a saint. Malachy O'Morgair spent his life and considerable energies exhorting, wheedling, badgering, and praying his countrymen back to christian faith and practice. Bernard holds him up in this Life, eulogy, and hymn as a model to bishops.

Exposition on the Song of Songs

ISBN: 978-1-60724-194-2
In the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, The Song of Songs was a favorite book of Cistercian monks. Bernard of Clairvaux, Gilbert of Hoyland, and John of Ford, as well as William of Saint Thierry, read it as a dialogue between Christ the Bridegroom and the human soul, the Bride. William of Saint Thierry began composing his commentary soon after entering the Cistercian abbey of Signy in 1135. Having left behind a busy life as a Benedictine abbot and author of theological treatises, he turned to writing meditations on Scripture as the means of listening to the voice of the Beloved.

Spiritual Friendship

By Aelred of Rievaulx; Translated by Mary Eugenia Laker SSND; Introduction by Douglass Roby
ISBN: 978-1-60724-193-5
Aelred of Rievaulx was born in the borderlands of Northumbria was raised at the royal court of Scotland. While traveling in King David’s service in 1134, the restless young man visited Rievaulx, a new foundation of the Cistercian monks in Yorkshire. The next day he returned to become a monk, and thirteen years later became abbot. In this second volume on spiritual friendship, written near the end of his life, Aelred completes his early treatise and shares his mature experience of the love of his companions and the love of God.

The Enigma of Faith

By William of Saint Thierry; Translation and Introduction by John D. Anderson
ISBN: 978-1-60724-192-8
William of Saint Thierry left all things in his search for God. He left his home in Liège (modern Belgium) to study in France. He left the schools to enter Benedictine monastic life at Rheims. And late in life he left the Benedictines to enter the most austere, recently founded Cistercian abbey of Signy in the Ardennes forest. What he did not leave was his keen intellect and his vehement love of Truth.

Song of Songs I

ISBN: 978-1-60724-191-1
A profound mystic, Bernard sought, above all and in all, to be with God and to bring all persons to the experience of God. His Sermons on the Song of Songs are among the most famous and most beautiful examples of medieval scriptural exegesis. In them the modern reader can catch a glimpse of the genius which an entire generation found irresistible.

On the Song of Songs II

By Bernard of Clairvaux; Translated by Kilian Walsh OCSO; Introduction by Jean Leclercq OSB
ISBN: 978-1-60724-190-4
A profound mystic, Bernard sought, above all and in all, to be with God and to bring all persons to the experience of God. His Sermons on the Song of Songs are among the most famous and most beautiful examples of medieval scriptural exegesis. In them the modern reader can catch a glimpse of the genius which an entire generation found irresistible.

Treatises and the Pastoral Prayer

By Aelred of Rievaulx; Introduction by David Knowles
ISBN: 978-1-60724-189-8
Meditation on Christ's humanity and a letter of instruction on a disciplined spiritual life for his sister, epitomize Aelred's gentle spirituality. His pastoral prayer reflects a man conscious that he is accountable to God for the souls of others.