Catholic Soup is a food for thought blog based website designed to provide Catholic insight through personal experience.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friends: a call to Love

They say when you think of somebody your suppose to pray for that person, at that moment. Pray for their health, their well-being, their life, their struggles, that they may be lifted from whatever they are going through and that the Grace of God place in them a complete and total trusting in Him and His plan. More than likely it's a friend we might think about and I believe that happens because God knows how much of a friend we are or can be. If God is love, then that means he can see love. So we are called to love in our prayers all those people we think about, the dead or the living, our friends and family and in a bigger picture, humanity in general. But it isn't about just showing love in our prayers, it's about showing love through our actions and our words. Being there for people, being there for your friends, because we never know when that opportunity might be the last.

Early on I felt this call to love in the things I experienced in my own life. During high school, I remember hearing about a friend who had committed suicide in his own house. I remember feeling so useless when I found out, and so angry with myself because I had let opportunity slip from me, I had ignored the call to help and the call to love. I was torn just knowing that I had seen this guy that same night and the day after he was gone. That next week I remember telling myself everyday when I had woke, that I would care for each person that I knew, or came in contact with. I challenged myself from that week on, to care for and love everyone I knew.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus hints at a sacrificial love, an unconditional love that will soon redeem man and the world from all it's sin. He expresses that we are friends of God and because of that, we have an obligation to love and be there for each person with that exact same unconditional love.

"There is no greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." 

There is a call to this sacrificial love, the love that wants what is best for the other and not ourselves. Saint Thomas Aquinas says that love is to will the good of another. It's a call to be a brother or sister to your friends and be there for them, be present to them. He says there is no greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends, in other words, put the life you've been holding up for so long now down. There's a paschal message in this that we should die to self and care for those around us. In the world today where the message we hear from Jesus is clouded by a self-centered society, basically a what's best for me and what can I gain type of perspective. It's radical to think about another before ourselves, but that's the message of Jesus and that's the call and obligation that we have as people. Jesus says that we should love one another.

"I no longer call you slaves...I call you friends."   [John 15:12-17]
Jesus has called you and me out of the darkness of sin and slavery, he has loosened our bonds and calls us friends. He calls us to be friends with the same love that he has redeemed us with. In my mind it's a commissioning for us, to go out and be a brother or be a sister, he calls us to be a father and lead others out of darkness, or a Mother to care for those who have no one to care for them. Guys were called to be friends. I am reminded yet again of the call to love everyone I meet, I want to be a light for people and I want to lead them out of darkness not into it. I want to be there for them, and serve them not be served. I want to listen to them and pray for them because I am called to be a friend and so a friend I will be.

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