By Sr Edith Scholl
In matters of religion and spirituality the simplest phrases can be the most misleading. Or, if not misleading, misunderstood. There is no doubt that this is true of the Cistercian tradition. As Sister Edith Scholl writes in the introduction to this volume: When I started reading and studying the writings of the twelfth- and thirteenth-century Cistercians years ago, I was struck by their rich vocabulary of Latin words, words rich with resonances from Scripture, the liturgy, and patristic and earlier monastic authors, words for which no exact equivalents exist in English. It seemed to me that these words could be a key to a deeper understanding of their message. . . . This study of some of the most important of them could serve as a companion to the translations being published in the Cistercian Fathers Series, enabling nonspecialists to read those translations with greater understanding and appreciation. In fact, it might prove a fruitful source for approaching the whole monastic ethos.