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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."
"Sister Edith Scholl has come to our rescue. . . . She has provided us with a book, and a very sensible book it is. The words she offers us are truly words for the journey, though like any journey, they are not without risk. Offering our human will to God is an extraordinarily risky business, but we may rest assured that our prayers will be answered."
–From the Foreword by David N. Bell
Sister Edith Scholl studied piano and composition at the University of Michigan, where she earned a bachelor of music degree. She entered Mount Saint Mary's Abbey in 1956. She is currently the prioress, teaches liturgy and Christian spirituality, and has written music for her community's liturgy. She has contributed articles to Hidden Springs and Peaceweavers, and an anthology of early Cistercian texts, In the School of Love (all published by Cistercian Publications).