In these articles Professor McGuire explores the riches of the Cistercian exemplum tradition. These texts are made up of brief stories, often with a miraculous content, which provided moral support for novices and monks in Cistercian abbeys all over Europe in the High Middle Ages. The Cistercians have been seen mainly in terms of their great writers like Bernard of Clairvaux and the impressive buildings they left behind. But Cistercian literature also provides us with more humble insights from daily life, shedding light on questions of sexuality, anger, depression, and bonds of friendship, also between monks and nuns. They bring a freshness of insight and immediate experience, and their seeming naivety lets us be aware of monks' commitment to each other in individual and community bonds. In Cistercian storytelling, the Gospel's message meets an historical context and bears witness to a transformation of Christian life and idealism, while at the same time allowing us precious insights into how ordinary men and women, not just monks and nuns, lived and thought.