Most of the time, as kids, we don’t have much choice in our friends. But if we did, what would you look for? What friend qualities would you look for?
I called friendship a sacramental, because, like all sacramentals (like a Rosary, prayer card of holy medal), it is something that points us to God.
Over the last week I had a few people writing in with some suggestions.
What I look for in a friend is some one who understands the need for discretion and reliability, who will buy me or let me by him a coffee, and who will spend 12 hours discussing one concept of philosophy like beauty, truth, or goodness - and someone who can help me and let me help him become rich.
Ah...now that's the life...that's a friend! :)
Thank you Rich. That's a kind of friend I would like too!
On Facebook, Thomas reached out to me and wrote:
"A big one for me would be:
1. Can I trust this person
2. What do we have in common
3. Can I be myself around this person"
Thank you Thomas. Trust is a big one.
And Nina wrote:
A friend is someone who:
-Is genuinely interested in your welfare
-Inspires you to become a better you
-Offers wise counsel when requested (and sometimes when it's necessary, requested or not)
-Encourages and affirms the good in you
-Stops you and ask you to think twice about a wrong path or poor decision
-Accompanies you in the fun and easy as well as in sorrows and difficulty
-Does not hesitate to offer a listening ear and an understanding heart
-Points you in the direction of heaven
-Is always happy to be present, to do something or to do nothing - simply to be together
-Cares about your family
-Has earned your trust time and time again
-Stands up for you and defends you
Then she added a P.S: "(someone who) Will pick you up from or take you to the airport / Will help you pack/unpack and move."
Thank you Nina. We will talk about many of those in the next couple of weeks.
Here are the broad categories, starting with Thomas' big one:
1. Trust: You want to be able to trust your friends.
2. Honesty: You want a friend who’s going to be honest with you. That means they’ll tell you if that dress makes you look fat and they challenge you when they think you’re wrong about something.
3. Fun: You may think that fun is not important, but (in the words of Pope Francis) no one wants a sourpuss as a friend. If you’re not a happy person don’t wonder why you don’t have any friends.
4. Time: Another good one is time. Real friendship takes time. Time allows you to have a strong foundation – like the house that was built on solid rock.
In many ways, those friends that I had in school (read last week’s post
), even though we didn’t have much choice in each other, we had lots of time together. We were together from kindergarten all the way to grade 12. By the time we were in high school, we’d had the time to learn a lot about each other. You learn to trust one another and end up sharing a lot.
When I look at some of the friendships that I had that developed quickly – like the house that was built on sand - those are the ones that didn’t last.
The Bible mentions friendship many times.
It also gives some advice as to what qualities are good to have in a friend.
Here’s one: Jesus is preaching his sermon on the mount and he says that whoever murders is liable to judgement. But then he adds, “but I say to you, if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council… when you are offering a gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go, first be reconciled with your brother or sister...”
So, there you have it, quality number 5: Forgiveness.
We also received a tweet from Fr. Matt who wrote:
Thanks Fr. Matt. We all want and need good friends!
Come back next week
and let’s look at other things the bible says about friendship. In the meantime, continue to write to me and let me know what qualities you look for in a friend.
Every week, Deacon Pedro takes a particular topic apart, not so much to explore or explain the subject to its fullness, but rather to provide insights that will deepen our understanding of the subject. And don’t worry, at the end of the day he always puts the pieces back together. There are no limits to deaconstructing: Write to him and ask any questions about the faith or Church teaching: email@example.com