Saint for the Day - January 12 - St. Aelred,
"One thing thou lackest."
In these words God called Aelred from the court of a
royal Saint, David of Scotland, to the silence of
the cloister. He left the king, the companions of
his youth, and a friend most dear, to obey the call.
The conviction that in the world his soul was in
danger alone enabled him to break such ties. Long
afterwards the bitterness of the parting remained
fresh in his soul, and he declared that, "though he
had left his dear ones in the body to serve his
Lord, his heart was ever with them."
He entered the Cistercian Order, and even there his
yearning for sympathy showed itself in a special
attraction to one among the brethren named Simon.
This holy monk had left the world in his youth, and
appeared as one deaf and dumb, so absorbed was he in
One day Aelred, forgetting for the moment the rule
of perpetual silence, spoke to him. At once he
prostrated himself at his feet in token of his
fault; but Simon's look of pain and displeasure
haunted him for many a year, and taught him to let
no human feeling disturb for one moment his union
with God. A certain novice once came to Aelred,
saying that he must return to the world.
But Aelred had begged his soul of God, and answered,
"Brother, ruin not thyself; nevertheless thou canst
not, even though thou wouldst." However, he would
not listen, and wandered among the hills, thinking
all the while he was going far from the abbey. At
sunset he found himself before a convent strangely
like Rieveaux, and so it was. The first monk he met
was Aelred, who fell on his neck, saying, "Son, why
hast thou done so with me? Lo! I have wept for thee
with many tears, and I trust in God that, as I have
asked of Him, thou shalt not perish." The world does
not so love its friends.
At the command of his superiors Aelred composed his
great works, the Spiritual Friendship and the Mirror
of Charity. In the latter he says that true love of
God is only to be obtained by joining ourselves in
all things to the Passion of Christ. He died in
1167, founder and Abbot of Rieveaux, the most
austere monastery in England, and Superior of some
three hundred monks.
Saint for the Day - St. Aelred, Abbot
Read about the Saint for today - January 12 and spare a thought for family or friends who might suffering from ill health or are experiencing times of trouble.
When a man has given himself to
God, God gives back friendship
with all His other gifts a
hundredfold. Friends are then
loved no longer for themselves
only, but for God, and that with
a love lively and tender; for
God can easily purify feeling.
It is not feeling, but
self-love, which corrupts
Saint for the Day Website
We hope that you gain spiritual knowledge and inspiration reading about the saint for today - January 12. An online Catholic resource providing a short Reflection for the year ahead. Use these short, inspiring words to request guidance or assistance for yourself and for the sake of others.