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.
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