It's FriendsGiving Week at Our Lady of Wisdom Church and Catholic Student Center, so it's FriendsGiving Week at Ask Aunt Katie! This week we will be celebrating All the Friends!! We will take a look at how to make friends, what true friendship is, and a few other surprises along the way. Get excited about some fun videos that will be added to each of these posts this week!!
Thank you for being a friend,
As Thomas Aquinas systematically explained: There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. Wow! What better way to rev up our gratitude engines pre-Thanksgiving than to spend some time really reflecting on our friendships and being grateful for those people that make our lives joy-filled, our cheeks tear-stained with laughter, and our bar tabs worth the expense.
This Weekly Challenge invites YOU to do a Friendship Inventory...
The greatest friendships are those rooted in VIRTUE. Let's take a brief look at virtue--Philippians 4:8 is a great place to start, Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. The Catechism of the Catholic Church no.1803 defines virtue as an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. The Catechism goes on to say that virtue, allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. If that's what virtues do, then virtuous friends can help us in the journey to being our best selves! Saint Gregory of Nyssa reminds us that "The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God." That means our virtuous friends push and pull us along the road to heaven--sometimes dragging us kicking and screaming!
Here's the Threefold Challenge:
(1) Spend some time reflecting on the friends that teach you Virtue... Who are they? What are some examples of how they've helped you desire excellence? When was the last time you spent time with these friends? Do these friends know how much you value their influence?
(2) Pray for those friends in a special way this week. Offer up a little sacrifice, a holy hour, a rosary... focus on their intentions. Spend time praying in gratitude that God was so generous as to allow your lives to cross paths.
(3) Call your friend! Tell them how much you appreciate what an example of virtue they are in your life! Can't decide who to call? What to say... here's your Friendship Inventory:
Which friend teaches you each of the following cardinal virtues? Someone you know is a great example of each (or more) of these virtues! BONUS Challenge: Share this post & tag your virtuous friends to thank them for all of the times they've taught you to be a better you. Want more on virtue? I recommend Josef Pieper's The Christian Idea of Man.
PRUDENCE: Often we see prudence as the ability to not make stupid decisions. And while this is true, it has a deeper and simpler meaning--to be in touch with real reality. Josef Pieper says, "One who does not know how things really are cannot do good; for the good accords with reality." Who is that friend that always helps you to see things for what they are--strip away the hysterics, the prejudices, the fears... who brings you back to the Truth? Like Ron Swanson (when there are no Tammys around.)
JUSTICE: Your most just friend is not necessarily the one that watches Law & Order non-stop. The Catechism defines Justice as "the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor." We have friends that are really good at seeing the good in us--their neighbor. These friends help us to stop gossiping and to give others the benefit of the doubt. They remind us that God is God and we are not. They are also very prudent, as you need a handle on real reality to treat people with the dignity they deserve. Who teaches you Justice?
COURAGE: C.S. Lewis said, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point." Courage is that willingness to say YES to the things that scare us, and NO to the things that don't but should. We have friends that teach us to be Brave. They give us the strength to face the adversity in our own lives because of the example they have laid out before us. Who do you call when you need to be brave? Pursuing the good is hard. These friends make it a little easier.
TEMPERANCE: Our friends that teach us temperance aren't just designated drivers or friends who have graduated from rehab... Temperance, according to the Catechism, moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. These friends teach us to be... well... balanced. They teach us to live in the world but not be of the world. We can have fun and be serious. We can drink without being drunk and dance without losing our pants. These friends teach us an everyday holiness by their example. Who teaches you Temperance? (Not this guy.)
Happy FriendsGiving Week!