Archdiocese of Washington: Year of Faith series
Dominican Brothers of the Province of St. Joseph
The Archdiocese of Washington, DC is hosting daily reflections on its Facebook page for the Year of Faith. Have you missed them? Today we are starting the next weekly series on faith. Please visit our page and “like” us, so you can follow along with the rest of the series.
1. Can we be friends with God?
Friendship is the very basis of our relationship with God in Jesus Christ: “I no longer call you slaves…I have called you friends.” (Jn 15:15) One quality of friendship is an exchange of personal knowledge and openness. As St. Thomas Aquinas says, “It is proper to friendship that a man reveal his secrets to his friend: because friendship unites their affections, and of two hearts makes one.” Couldn’t you use a good friend right about now? Friends talk to one another; friends listen to one another. When was the last time you spoke to Jesus as a true friend and from your heart? He is listening.
2. Why is it good to share things with our friends?
Another mark of friendship is that we share our belongings with our friends. “A friend is another self,” so we help a friend as we would ourselves–which is part of willing and doing good for our friend. St. John asks, “But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 Jn 3:17) Think too of the great love God has for us. When we were His enemies, He cleansed and sanctified our hearts by the gift of the Holy Spirit, and thus made us His friends.
3. Do you find delight in the presence of God?
“It also belongs to friendship that a man delight in the presence of his friend, and rejoice in his words and deeds: also that he find in him consolation in all his troubles: hence it is especially to our friends that we have recourse in time of sorrow.” How true this is of our friendship with Jesus! When we look upon God in prayer with a loving gaze true delight arises in our hearts, and we are able to admire His goodness. This type of prayer is called contemplation. It makes us lovers of God, and it brings us amazing joy. Do you find delight in the presence of God? Does your friendship with Jesus bring you joy?
4. What if our friends hurt us?
At their best, friends are always trying to build one another up and seeking the others good. But we are not always at our best, and all too often we end up offending those we truly care about. Still, the bond of friendship can overcome even serious human failings because “love covers all offenses.” (Pr 10:21) Of course God’s love for us is the ultimate friendship, and likewise the ultimate example of forgiveness. Despite our countless offenses against Him, by His love we are pardoned and we can be restored to our undeserved status as friends of God. What is more, by our love for God we are called to love all who are His–all people, both our friends and our enemies.
5. Does friendship mean agreeing with my friend?
Another part of friendship is harmony with your friend. Friends often and easily unite their wills, even in the smallest things, and even if they are very different personalities. We are also friends with God. Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (Jn 14:15). Friendship with God means aligning our wills to His. But there is nothing burdensome or weary about agreeing with friends. In friendship, we aren’t oppressed by obligation, but moved by the weight of love. The Holy Spirit moves us to follow God’s commandments from the heart, with love. St. Paul says, “Whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
Please don’t forget to visit our Facebook page and “like” it to follow this week’s daily reflections on the theme “faith.”