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The best of friendships

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The best of friendships

All relationships are maintained and strengthened by the food of communication and our relationship with Jesus is no different.  We cannot hope to have a deep friendship with the Lord if we are not in frequent contact with Him; if we do not make time to listen, to speak, to be in His presence each and every day.

If our prayer is infrequent, our friendship is like that of Christmas card acquaintances.  If we speak but fail to listen, we risk treating Jesus as though he were a follower of ours (on Twitter)!  If we do pray, but do not make the time to linger in His presence, then our relationship resembles that of spouses whose talk is only the necessary hum-drum of running a family home, rather than the leisurely conversation between those bound together in love.

I remember talking with a priest who was just heading off on an Ignatian retreat.  Why, I wondered, since he was a priest?  Surely his life was one long retreat (how naive I was then!)?  ‘There’s a place in prayer I just can’t get to usually,’ he said, ‘I want to be there again’.  I could relate to that in terms of friendship: there is a trust, an intimacy between friends which cannot be enjoyed without spending a substantial amount of time in each other’s company and without the distraction of our daily work, whatever that may be.

Not many of us have the chance to follow an Ignatian retreat but we all have the opportunity to strengthen our friendship with the Lord through our daily prayer of praise, adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication, listening and contemplation.  Do not shy away from giving this relationship a generous amount of precious time!  As Pope Benedict said, ‘Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life.’

 

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