Tag Archive: Alfred of Rievaulx


Listen v4.45 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Practice of Inner Peace What is here urged are internal practices and habits of the mind. What is here urged are secret habits of unceasing orientation of the deeps of our being about the Inward Light, ways of conducting our inward life so that we are perpetually bowed in worship while we are also very busy in the world of daily affairs. What is here urged are inward practices of the mind at deepest levels, letting it swing like the needle, to the polestar of the soul. Thomas Kelly – Becoming a Holy Sanctuary of Adoration, circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
But Only One Thing Is Needed … When the mind becomes acquainted with God and the sensibility is rightly developed toward Him, as it always must be before it can be at rest, and all the desires center in God, He comes to be the supreme end of the soul in such a sense. Now take anything away that you will, and leave his God, and you cannot affect his happiness; this one desire so swallows up all the rest. Charles G. Finney – Power, Passion and Prayer, circa 1860, copyright 2004 Bridge-Logos Publishers
Be not Hearers Only and So Deceive Yourself If you find that the teachings of Jesus are hard to understand and difficult to follow it is because they do not apply to you. The teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, specifically the Beatitudes, were written to Jesus’ disciples, hearers and doers of his word not hearers only. A disciple is one who denies himself, takes up his cross daily and follows. Tom Van Hoogen
Divine Denizen of the Deep There is a reason many Christians remain ignorant of the presence of the Holy Spirit who lives within: He dwells so deep. The Holy Spirit dwells below the life of the body, which is as the curtain of a tent. He dwells below thought and feeling, judgment and imagination, in the deepest reaches of the soul.

It is comparatively seldom that we go into the farthest reaches of our being. We are content to live the superficial life. We prefer to skim along the surface. We eat, drink and sleep. We fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind. We make short incursions into the realm of morals, the sense of right and wrong that is part of the makeup of men. But we have too slight an acquaintance with the deeper and more mysterious chamber of the spirit. Now this is why the majority of believers are so unaware of the divine and wonderful resident dwelling within. Let us all look deep into our hearts and souls to see who has come to live there.

F. B. Meyer – The Best of F. B. Meyer, circa 1910, © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries
To Thine Own Self Be True How can a person love another person who does not love himself, since he ought to order the love he has for his neighbor from a likeness of the love by which he is dear to himself? But someone who demands from himself or requests for himself something shameful and dishonorable does not love himself. The first thing therefore is that each person chastise himself, not allowing himself anything that is indecent, and not taking away from himself anything useful. Loving himself in this way, let him also love his neighbor according to the same rule. Alfred of Rievaulx, From Spiritual Friendship circa 1150; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Love Dwells Below Surface Acts and Words Strive to be resigned in all things with silence, and in so doing, without saying that you love him, you will attain to the most perfect, quiet, effectual, and true love. St. Peter most affectionately told the Lord that for his sake he was ready and willing to lay down his life, but at the word of a young woman he denied him and there was no end to his zeal (Matthew 27:69-72). Mary Magdalene said not a word, and yet the Lord himself, taken with her perfect love, became her panegyrist, saying that she had loved much (Luke 7:47). It is internally then, with dumb silence, that the most perfect virtues of faith, hope, and charity are practiced, without any necessity of telling God that you love him, hope and believe in him, because the Lord knows better than you do what the internal motions of your heart are. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Curse in Reverse God did not create Adam holy, He created him innocent, without self-consciousness (as we understand the word) before God; the one thing Adam was conscious of was God and only of himself in relation to the Being Whose commands he was to fulfill; the main trend of his spirit was towards God. Adam was intended by God to take part in his own development by a series of moral choices whereby he would transform innocence into holiness. Adam failed to do this, Jesus Christ came on the same platform as Adam and did not fail. Supposing Adam had transformed the natural life into the spiritual by obedience, what would have happened? Transfiguration; he would have spiritualised the natural life and made it all that God wanted it to be. The natural life is neither good nor bad, moral nor immoral; it is the principle within that makes it good or bad, moral or immoral. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Unexpressed Intentions Some of us know what it is to love, and we know that could we only have our way, our beloved ones would be overwhelmed with blessings. All that is good and sweet and lovely and life would be poured out upon them from our lavish hands, had we but the power to carry out our will for them. And if this is the way of love with us, how much more must it be so with our God, who is love itself! Hannah Whitall Smith – The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, 1875 © 1998 Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Listen v4.32 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
When Things Begin Clicking and Falling into Place I had found this hole in the world: the fact that one must somehow find a way of loving the world without trusting it; somehow one must love the world without being worldly. I found this projecting feature of Christian theology like a sort of hard spike, the dogmatic insistence that God was personal, and had made a world separate from Himself. The spike of dogma fitted exactly into the hole in the world it had evidently been made to go there and then the strange thing began to happen. When once these two parts of the two machines had come together, one after another, all the other parts fitted and fell in with an eerie exactitude. I could hear bolt after bolt over all the machinery falling into its place with a kind of click of relief. Having got one part right, all the other parts were repeating that rectitude, as clock after clock strikes noon. Instinct after instinct was answered by doctrine after doctrine. Or, to vary the metaphor, I was like one who had advanced into a hostile country to take one high fortress. And when that fort had fallen the whole country surrendered and turned solid behind me. The whole land was lit up. as it were, back to the first fields of my childhood. All those blind fancies of boyhood which in the fourth chapter I have tried in vain to trace on the darkness, became suddenly transparent and sane. I was right when I felt that roses were red by some sort of choice: it was the divine choice. I was right when I felt that I would almost rather say that grass was the wrong color than say it must by necessity have been that color: it might verily have been any other. My sense that happiness hung on the crazy thread of a condition did mean something when all was said: it meant the whole doctrine of the Fall. Even those dim and shapeless monsters of notions which I have not been able to describe, much less defend, stepped quietly into their places like colossal caryatides of the creed. The fancy that the cosmos was not vast and void, but small and cozy, had a fulfilled significance now, for anything that is a work of art must be small in the sight of the artist; to God the stars might be only small and dear, like diamonds. And my haunting instinct that somehow good was not merely a tool to be used, but a relic to be guarded, like the goods from Crusoe s ship even that had been the wild whisper of something originally wise, for, according to Christianity, we were indeed the survivors of a wreck, the crew of a golden ship that had gone down before the beginning of the world.
But the important matter was this, that it entirely reversed the reason for optimism. And the instant the reversal was made it felt like the abrupt ease when a bone is put back in the socket. I had often called myself an optimist, to avoid the too evident blasphemy of pessimism. But all the optimism of the age had been false and disheartening for this reason, that it had always been trying to prove that we fit into the world. The Christian optimism is based on the fact that we do not fit into the world. I had tried to be happy by telling myself that man is an animal, like any other which sought its meat from God. But now I really was happy, for I had learnt that man is a monstrosity. I had been right in feeling things as odd, for I myself was at once worse and better than all things. The optimist s pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everyting in the light of the supernatural. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
You Must Be Led By Christ, Not Men Moreover if we are firmly gripped by a true picture of life with Jesus and are moving by experience deeper and deeper into its reality, we will be able, strongly but calmly, to resist the mistakes and abuses of religious authority. From the local congregation up to the highest levels of national and international influence, we hear people and groups claiming that they have been divinely guided as to what we are to do. Dallas Willard – Hearing God ©1984 InterVarsity Press
When Abiding, You Get What You Ask For We enter the sacred chamber on our knees. We still our thoughts and words, and say, Lord, teach us to pray. Give us thy holy desires, and let our prayer be the very echo of thy will. Give us thy Spirit as our advocate within. Open our eyes to see our great high priest and advocate above, and help us so to abide in Him, and to have His Word so abiding in us, that we shall ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
The Kiss of Life The friend who cleaves to his friend in the spirit of Christ is made one heart and soul with him (Acts 4:32). Ascending to the friendship of Christ through the stages of love, he is made one spirit with him (1 Cor. 6:17) in a single kiss. The holy soul sighs for that kiss, saying, “Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth” (Song 1:1). Alfred of Rievaulx, From Spiritual Friendship circa 1150; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Discerning Between Soul and Spirit When you go to prayer, you should deliver yourself wholly up into the hands of God with perfect resignation, making an act of faith, believing that you are in the divine presence, afterwards remaining in that holy repose with quietness, silence, and tranquility, and endeavoring for a whole day, a whole year, and your whole life to continue that first act of contemplation by faith and love… by this you will be undeceived and know what is the perfect and spiritual manner of prayer, and be advised what is to be done in internal recollection. You will know that to the end that love may be made perfect and pure, it is expedient to curtail the multiplication of sensible and fervent acts, the soul continuing quiet and resting in that inward silence. Because tenderness, delight, and sweet sentiments, which the soul experiences in the will, are not purely spiritual, but are acts blended with the sensibility of nature. Nor is it perfect love, but sensible pleasure, which distracts and hurts the soul. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Who Are You in Relationship With? Sin is not a creation, it is a relationship. The essential nature of sin is my claim to my right to myself. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers

Listen v4.20 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Word is Made Flesh But God has put this Word into the mouth of others in order that it may be communicated to us. When one person is struck by the Word, he speaks it to others. God has willed that we should seek and find his living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of a man. Therefore, the Christian need is another Christian who speaks God s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Life Together, circa 1940; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Reason vs. Revelation The seer in the cabin may decipher the language of the clouds more accurately than the bronzed and weather-beaten mariner on the quarter-deck. That was the mistake the centurion made. The centurion believed the master of the ship more than those things which were spoken by Paul. It is a purely nautical matter. The captain of the ship predicts fair weather and urges an early clearance. Paul, the prisoner and passenger, foretold angry seas, and advised remaining in shelter. The centurion believed the captain of the ship. But Paul was right; the captain was wrong; and the ship was lost. Sooner or later life resolves itself into a desperate struggle for human credence between Paul and the captain of the ship.
The point is that the captain of the ship is the man who might be supposed to know. He is a specialist. And Paul sets over against his nautical erudition the unsatisfying words, I perceive . It is a case of Reason on the one hand and Revelation on the other; and the centurion pins his faith to the vigilant captain rather that to the visionary Paul. That is the exact point at which the world has always missed its way.
F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
You Really Should Ignore Your Self Listen to what I have to say. It is not easy to hear, but it will feed your spirit. Do not listen to the voice that suggests that you live for yourself. The voice of self-love is even more powerful than the voice of the serpent. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Spirit to Spirit Rarely and only with great effort does a mind, which has contemplated both the material and spiritual creation of the universe and discovered the mutability of all things, soar to the unchangeable substance of God and there learn that He is the sole Creator of every nature that is not divine. For, God does not speak with man through the medium of matter, with vibrations of air causing His voice to be heard by the ears of the body, nor does he use apparitions resembling bodies such as we see in dreams or in some such way for in this latter case the speaking is to seeming ears, through a seeming medium with a seeming material space of intervening, since such apparitions are very similar to material objects. But He speaks to that part of man which is most excellent and which has nothing superior to it except God Himself. St. Augustine – The City of God, circa 400, copyright 1950 by Fathers of the Church
Are You Above the Law? Jesus Wasn’t If you have the idea that your duty is to catch other people, it puts you on a superior platform at once and your whole attitude takes on the guise of a prig. This too often is the pose of the earnest religious person of to-day. Of all the different kind of men one meets the preacher takes the longest to get at, for this very reason; you can get at a doctor or any professional man much more quickly than you can a professionally religious man. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
A True Friend What can be said about friendship that is higher, or truer, or more useful, than that it ought and is proven to begin in Christ, advance according to Christ, and be brought to perfection by Christ? Alfred of Rievaulx, From Spiritual Friendship circa 1150; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Rescue The Perishing Consider again what this means. All these dying millions have a right to come to the knowledge of Christ. Their salvation depends on their knowing Him. He could change their lives from sin and unhappiness to holy obedience and heavenly joy. Christ has a right to them. It would make His heart glad to have them come and be blessed in Him. Service to God is the connecting link. And yet, what His people do is nothing compared to what needs to be done, to what could be done, to what ought to be done. Andrew Murray – God’s Plans for You, circa 1890, © 1983 by Whitaker House
Teetering On The Brink of Collapse Christianity was like a huge and ragged and romantic rock, which, though it sways on its pedestal at a touch, yet, because it’s exaggerated excrescences exactly balance each other, is enthroned there for a thousand years. In a Gothic cathedral columns were all different, but they were all necessary. Every support seemed an accidental and fantastic support; every buttress was a flying buttress. So in Christiandom apparent accidents balance. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Whatever is Not of Love is Sin It is not a matter of right and wrong. These only have to do with earthly things (i.e. morality). Morality is a corruption of Love. The only concern is whether or not someone is acting in Love or not. If they are, praise God. If they are not, pray God for they are acting in sin. Tom Van Hoogen
Re-Turning is Repentance You are to be completely occupied, inwardly, with God. Of course, this is impossible if, at the same time, you are outwardly busied with a thousand trifles. The Lord is at the center of your being; therefore, He must become the center of your being. What are you to do when you become drawn away from this God who is your center? No matter what it is that draws you away, whether weakness or lack of faith, you must immediately turn within once more. Be ready to turn within, again and again, no matter how often you are drawn away. Be ready to repeat this turning just as often as distractions occur. Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680
%d bloggers like this: