"Alas for anyone who is alone and has no one to lift him up when he falls. Without a friend one is indeed alone. But what joy it is, what security, what a delight to have someone to whom you dare to speak as to another self; to whom you are not afraid to admit that you have done something wrong, or shy of revealing some spiritual progress you have made; someone to whom you can entrust all the secrets of your heart and with whom you can share your plans."
Aelred of Rievaulx (AD 1109-1167), Spiritual Friendship: PL 195, 669-672
Aelred was a member of the Cistercian Order who later became abbot of Rievaulx and was noted for his theological and spiritual writings.