A union of souls, friendship.
In today’s readings we can discern a fundamental purpose for a “union of souls”, especially found in marriage.
Through marriage and religious life, we are all called to become companions to each other, helpmates that teach each other how to enter into a communion of true love, friendship. This is possible for spiritual souls that can have many true friends.
God’s plan is revealed in Genesis through marriage, for “it is not good for man to be alone I will make him a helpmate / companion”. And, this person can be seen as “bones from my bone, and flesh from my flesh”, and this is why a man can venture from his mother and father and join himself to his wife and they become one body. One body, united in a life friendship, that in time may produce their own offspring, who by their example will be able to grow to a maturity. In turn they will be able to reproduce the lessons of friendship that their parents have shown to them. Religious vocations can be included in this example as well. Most educators would agree that the greatest teacher of children is our example.
There are 3 outstanding advantages which flow from a true and holy friendship;
A friend can be an intimate confident to whom one can open their heart and receive advice and counsel especially when confronted with problems and doubts during life and choosing the best works to be done by us.
A friend can be a prudent and sympathetic corrector who will honestly and frankly point out one’s defects and prevent many acts of imprudence and even sin.
A friend will be a consolation in times of suffering and sorrow. They will know how to select the proper words and remedies in a time of personal trial and growth.
True friendship will grow virtue in their companion.
True friendship is the alliance of souls who are united in the goodness of God.
True friendship is, disinterested in their own gain, generous, sincere, and patientto the point of heroism for the other.
True friendship does not know the meaning of double dealing, or hypocrisy.
True friends do not deny the defects that exists in their friend, but their friendship enables them to seek the good of the other in spite of their defects and weakness.
That is why true friendship is Christ’s own charity, “I no longer call you servants, instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Father Andrew Matthew