Monday, November 16, 2009


On Friendships

h/t Saintos

"Sweet, blessed liberation"

I've been thinking about, praying about and going through the same thing as what an 'on line' friend, Owen, sums up so nicely in his latest cartoon (click "On Friendships" above.)

Last week, there occurred an epiphany in my soul that has completely set me free and given me such peace. I "gave my friends" to God, and to my Blessed Mother. Nobody need require of me more than they. I'm now free from letting creatures or things have such control ... it is truly 'sweet, blessed liberation!' How I love it! It's not perfected in me by any means, but I know something inside has happened, to release me from the "yoke of slavery" to affections, (even if good) that have too much control over me. Yes, I am my sisters/brothers keeper, but they don't "own" me, God does.

Reality/Truth check:

Friends change.

Things change. Change is life. But happily, God never changes. He is to be our "FIRST resort, not friends or things" and once I make that a reality in my heart, once I say it, and say it often, when I'm hurt by a friend, or feeling ignored, or forsaken to some degree, that brings the most consolation to my soul...I am God's. He is all good and deserving of my love. No person or thing created is. Jesus my Lord, my All in all, my truest Friend and Lover of my soul is my "First and only Love."

Friends, true friends, allow for each other to grow, to change, even if it makes us "uncomfortable" and we want to give them our opinion - usually too quickly. The old adage: "Don't give advice you're not willing to take" rings like the pealing bells I used to hear on Sunday mornings when I was a girl. We're to help each other attain sainthood, not just "be pals" and that means knowing that no matter what, or how someone might let us down, we're to simply "love" but we're to love as God does, not as we 'feel.'

Friends cannot meet every emotional need we have, no matter how close they are, even our spouses cannot meet every need or we'd not need God. God is a "jealous lover" and will not allow anyone or anything to take His place in our hearts. It's a hard lesson at times, to let a friend go, or to let her change, or even fade away for a time, or forever. It's not because we've disagreed on things, it's just that we're all at different places on this arduous, tumultous journey in this land of exile. God will bring them back or He won't. He'll give you a new friend, or He won't. Friends are important, yes, for those of us who don't live in convents, we need friends... but even still, they're not to be the 'be all end all' that only God is to be. God gives and God takes away...for our good.

He sent his apostles out, two by two, for a reason. There is safety in numbers. It's "not good for 'man' to be alone." We're not "islands in the sea" but we're not to be "joined at the hip" where they or we ourselves seek to 'control.' If we love others for 'how they make us feel ' it's selfish and 'not to be.' We've already lost if that's the case, and it could get messy and unecessary strife and contention or vain imaginings will replace what started out to be "good" due to too much 'self-love' still lurking about. It doesn't mean we stop caring, for we always care for those in our lives, whether since childhood, or newly made friendships. We love them if they 'move on' (spiritually or geographically) or if they don't, but if we don't communicate as much as we once did, it is (or should be) fine. Unless there's been something done, a hurt commited to amend, it is as God wills, not us to will. And the reactions, responses, replies or lack thereof on their part is not for us to pine about, but to "offer up" and MOVE ON ourselves. Shake the dust off your feet, not in disgust, but in love. No one that plows a field and looks back is worthy. Let the dead bury their dead. Somethings just need to be released when their time is completed.

A great song by the Byrds comes to mind just now. From the scriptures in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 --

To everything turn turn turn, there is a season, turn turn turn, and a time to every purpose under heaven... a time to heal a time to rend...

Let friends do what friends should do, but don't let them take the place that only God should have. He may take them all away, and you could end up dying alone, as little Jacinta did, at the age of 8. Alone, not a friend by her side when she died. But she was totally and completely God's. Her last sacrifice for sinners was to die alone.

Next time you're feeling lonely, or sorry for yourself, or pouting, or moping about, just remember little Jacinta and in a sense, "die" to a friendship that's perhaps 'taken over' your thought life. Let your friend 'die' in a sense, not to ignore them, but not to have them have more power over you than they should.

As we all must 'die to ourselves' then we'll be free to live and to love, to really love them as they should be loved, and God will fill us up to the brim, to overflowing, in ways we cannot realize or imagine. If Jacinta could relinquish her desire for someone to be with her at such most crucial time, her death, at the age of 8, how much more should I desire to "completely God's" and 'die to myself' and my longings, even for good things' like friends, at 54? Our desire for the poor souls and lost sinners of this world should be to resemble that of a saint, who was only 8, with a faith much more mature and beyond her years.

Thanks, Owen. Great observation, insight and advice. As St. Julian of Norwich was so oft to utter: "All is well."

And another great piece of advice from 'The Natural' -

"They come and they go, Hobbs. They come and they go."

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