• February 28, 2017

The gift of good friends

Throughout the ages, many have written about friend­ship, but there have been some whose words con­tinue to ring true through the years. One such is Saint Francis de Sales, whose work enti­tled “Introduction to the Devout Life” invites us to trea­sure the friends who bring us closer to God:

Do you, my child, love every one with the pure love of charity, but have no friend­ship save with those whose inter­course is good and true, and the purer the bond which unites you so much higher will your friend­ship be. If your inter­course is based on science it is praise­worthy, still more if it arises from a par­tic­i­pa­tion in good­ness, pru­dence, jus­tice and the like; but if the bond of your mutual liking be charity, devo­tion and Christian per­fec­tion, God knows how very pre­cious a friend­ship it is!

Precious because it comes from God, because it tends to God, because God is the link that binds you, because it will last for ever in Him. Truly it is a blessed thing to love on earth as we hope to love in Heaven, and to begin that friend­ship here which is to endure for ever there.

I am not now speaking of simple charity, a love due to all mankind, but of that spir­i­tual friend­ship which binds souls together, leading them to share devo­tions and spir­i­tual inter­ests, so as to have but one mind between them. Such as these may well cry out, “Be­hold, how good and joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in unity!”

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