Christian Friendship

I was reflecting on the Gospel story of the men who tear through the roof to get their sick friend in to see Jesus. It's really touching. To me it has become an image of true friendship. They work so hard to get him to Jesus without concern for any obstacle. This is what friends do for each other. Many soldiers express this depth of friendship on the battlefield. They say that the reason for fighting changes from being primarily about the mission. They primarily fight for their buddy in the foxhole. An intense common goal is, in fact, the very foundation of friendship. The Greeks understood this. For this reason they numbered friendship as the penultimate type of love. It's greater than eros, i.e., the love of the desirable. It's a shift. We love the other not because of what they can give us. We love them because we share a common cause. What that common cause is defines the friendship. Pirates, for instance, have a vicious friendship. They share a common goal for the sake of whiskey, women, and cold hard cash. Many secular fraternities are little more than pirates without a ship. But a virtuous friendship is often a marvel to behold. Through it, friends are lead to a life of natural happiness.

Even greater, a Christian friendship has the goal of mutual salvation. No foxhole is greater than the spiritual one. How beautiful it is to see such a friendship. It is the building block of the Christian community and especially the Religious community. Remember, even Christ called his own disciples his friends.