Matarasso, Pauline Ed. The Cistercian World. Penguin Books. London. 1993. Monastic writings of the twelfth century. The abbot of New Melleray Abbey asked each of us associates to read this in order to become more familiar with the foundation of the order. I found the chapter on spiritual friendship by Alfred of Rievaulx the most timely for anyone of any age. The lyrical description of Clairvaux was a treat by an unknown author towards the end of the book.
Bernard Lee wrote a book back in 1995 called The Future Church of 140 B.C.E. He sensed that the changes that came into being that we know as Pharisees were an organic growth in the influence of Jewish lay believers. Their province was the Synagogue and their specialty was study of the Torah. Lee sees the rapid growth of lay people with advanced theology degrees, positions of leadership in parish life, setting the stage for yet another radical change in the faith communities of our day. I emailed Dr. Lee and wondered how he would write that same book today, or at least update this seminal work. He responded that he was hopeful that the Spirit was working within faith communities to bring forth yet the next new thing in the way we come together to share our lived experiences.