This is beautiful. The vocation to Christian friendship is truly a holy vocation. One of God’s most beautiful graces in this life is true friends.
I’ve been toying for the last month or so with some thoughts about the difference between “friendship” as the secular world outlines it, and a deep sense of Christian friendship as many have written about it. Some big names have taken up the topic of Christian “spiritual friendship;” folks like Aelred (who’s feast we celebrate today) and Anselm of Canterbury.
So what is it that makes this friendship different? For me, Aelred gets to it pretty quickly, at the start of Book One in his Spiritual Friendship (which can be read in large part, here). Aelred writes, “You and I are here, and I hope Christ is between us as a third” (1.1). Now, it’s important to note that for Aelred and his contemporaries, a different emphasis was placed on friendship. The idea of friendship was highly valued, and it was far deeper than just a post-modern social…
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