Across the Miles--CS Post
My latest post for Catholic Sistas and dedicated to my prayer warriors: Jomary, Katie, Sam, Debbie, and Jenn.
Stretching the definition of friendshipReestablishing myself in a parish and homeschooling group in Utah was tough. I'm an introvert at heart and making new friends does not come easily or naturally to me. God bless Sam, who kept in touch over text messages every so often. Over time Sam created a group text that grew to include four more of our mutual friends, who coincidentally had also moved away from that tight knit community in Maryland. This group has been an absolute treasure. These women are all such diverse, faithful, and supportive friends. At least weekly we hear from each other. We pray for each other, lift each other up and inspire each other. As Jenn, one of our members put so nicely--"This group has been a blessing to deepen faith, prayer, and home life and just knowing you are connected with others that love being Catholic and family as much as we do especially at times when the world deflates you." This group of friends, spread across countless miles, has become my life line. It's been an enormous comfort knowing I have an army of prayer warriors at my fingertips who very often are walking out the door to attend Mass or adoration just as a texted prayer request has come through. We have prayed each other through job searches, moves, home sales, marriages of adult children, births, deaths, illnesses, surgeries, fractured relationships, tribulations and triumphs. We have seen miraculous answers in many of these prayer battles. Each of these dear ladies has taught me important lessons in being available, trusting in prayer, and being vulnerable enough to share my needs. They have shown me the need for strong, holy friendships; and while we have been uprooted from a place, we remain rooted in Christ. Godly friendships are vital because they encourage spiritual growth and remind us we are not alone. More importantly they remind us that God does indeed answer our prayers. He heals the sick, comforts the afflicted, and stretches our capacity to love.
What the Bible and Saints have to sayWomen today have a great need for holy friendships which inspire, support, and lift them up. The Bible has much to say about good, sanctifying friendships:
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.--Proverbs 27:9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.--Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.--Job 16:20-21 My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay one's life down for the life of one's friends. --John 15:12-13Many saints have also expressed the benefits of virtuous friendship:
God sends us friends to be a firm support in the whirlpool of struggle. In the company of friends we will find strength to attain our sublime ideal. --Saint Maximilian Kolbe Love everyone with a strenuous love based on charity, but form friendships only with those who can share virtuous things with you. -- St. Francis de Sales The inner life of another that is known to God alone becomes to a much less degree open to us through friendship. It partially fills the desire of our incomplete, lonely hearts for completeness in another. Friendship brings out the best in a person through forgetfulness of self. --Saint Thomas AquinasGod graced Sam with the ability to stretch her own definition of friendship to include those across the miles. Because of her trust we all have each other. God bless my good, holy, faithful friends; Sam, Jomary, Debbie, Jenn, and Katie. I love you all and I am eternally grateful for your love and support. What a grand reunion we have to look forward to someday. God's Will be done.