July 28 – A Certain Wonderful Miracle

St. Aelred of RievaulxDr. Marsha Dutton, Executive Editor of Cistercian Publications, is visiting New Melleray this week. This evening Dr. Dutton agreed to give us a conference on St. Aelred titled “God’s Enduring Loving-Kindness in ‘A Certain Wonderful Miracle.’” “A Certain Wonderful Miracle” is a story by St. Aelred more commonly known as “The Nun of Watton.” Dr. Dutton shared new insights and understandings from St. Aelred’s story and demonstrated her ability to unite lectio divina and scholarship to glean deep insights from the writing of this beloved Cistercian father.

Dr. Dutton is a faculty member in the English Department at Ohio University and a longtime student of the works of Aelred of Rievaulx and of other twelfth-century Cistercian writers. In addition to her many articles on Cistercian thought, Dr. Dutton has written the introduction to Vita Aelredi (CF 57) and edited Aelred’s The Historical Works and Lives of the Northern Saints (CF 56, 71) as well as preparing a critical edition of Aelred’s Pastoral Prayer (CF 73). She was one of the editors of Truth as Gift: Studies in Cistercian History Honoring John R. Sommerfeldt (CS 204). While visiting New Melleray this week she agreed to give us a conference this evening on St. Aelred of Rievaulx.

Since 1968 Cistercian Publications has been publishing books in monastic history and spirituality, reaching backward into the Desert Fathers and forward into the experiences of twentieth- and twenty-first century laypeople, monks and nuns, and priests. Our initial goal was to provide English translations of treatises and sermons by early Cistercian writers and other Fathers and Mothers of the church, to benefit those who cannot easily read these work in the original languages. Over the years we have expanded into contemporary scholarly and spiritual writing.

Cistercian Publications works appear in three series: Cistercian Fathers (translations of works by Cistercian authors, both men and women), Cistercian Studies (scholarly works and translations of non-Cistercian authors such as the Venerable Bede, Æthelwold, and Gregory), and Monastic Wisdom (works encouraging spiritual exploration and growth).


from Constitutions and Statutes: of the Monks and Nuns of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance
C. 58 – Continuing Formation

After solemn profession and throughout their lives, the brothers continue to learn “the philosophy of Christ”. Continuing formation is to be made available to the whole community … based on the Rule of Saint Benedict and the Cistercian patrimony and is to draw from the riches of biblical, patristic, liturgical, theological and spiritual sciences.