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Liturgical Press

The Meditations with a Monastic Commentary

William of Saint-Thierry; Translated and Commentary by Thomas X. Davis, OCSO, Foreword by David N. Bell

The Meditations with a Monastic Commentary
The Meditations with a Monastic Commentary

ISBN: 9780879071646, CF091P

Details: 272 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Publication Date: 11/15/2022
Cistercian Publications

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The Meditations, written over a period from 1125 to 1137, are a personal account of William of Saint-Thierry’s ascent into Trinitarian intimacy. Writing to the monks of Mont Dieu sometime around 1144, he proposed the Meditations as helpful in forming minds in prayer. These Meditations, with their accompanying commentary, are now presented as helpful in forming an intimate relationship with the triune God.

William of Saint-Thierry (ca. 1080–1148) was a Benedictine abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Thierry and a close friend of Bernard of Clairvaux. Because of this friendship, toward the end of his life he became a Cistercian monk at Signy l’Abbaye in the Ardenne forest. Twenty-one of his writings extant today establish his enduring legacy as a distinguished theologian of Trinitarian doctrine, Christology, and contemplative prayer.

Thomas X. Davis, OCSO, has translated two works of William—The Mirror of Faith (1979) and The Nature and Dignity of Love (1981)—and published several articles on William and monastic subjects. He is the abbot emeritus of the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux.


"Thomas Davis makes an invaluable contribution in his fresh translation of The Meditations and his insightful commentary on William’s account of the contemplative ascent into God, situating the abbot of Saint-Thierry’s spiritual itinerary in his broader theological vision. That ascent is motivated by ardent love and longing to see God’s face, yet paradoxically necessitates a descent into the truth of a person’s deepest self where one comes face to face with one’s utter brokenness and the need to die to self. There one also discovers the truth of one’s unimaginable beloved-ness in the eternal Word. Ascending then through the Incarnation, one’s will is united with God’s love—the Holy Spirit—in the unitas spiritus where one’s life is transformed and one’s spirit is enfolded the ineffable embrace of the Divine Persons of the Trinity."
Glenn E. Myers, PhD, Professor of Church History and Theological Studies, Crown College