What is Friendship with God?
Sometime in your life you might be asked if you are friends with God. This question usually comes from a person who is not Catholic. It can be hard to say if the Catholic Church really teaches that we should be “friends” with God. The Church responds to this question with one of her own, which is “what is being a friend with God?”
According to Aristotle and Cicero, there are six qualities of friendship. While these qualities were written before Christ, they have remained true throughout the ages. As you read through these you will find that your relationships with your closest friends are based on these qualities:
1. The openness and exchange of personal knowledge
This is where trust starts to form when we are open to being personal with God.
2. Effective sharing of goods we desire
How many times have we confided in a friend our hopes and dreams? Do we also do that with God?
3. Pardon of our offenses
Again, this is seen in our Earthly friendships when we ask forgiveness from a friend.
4. Contemplates the other
For Earthly friendships, do we see the person as God sees them? In our friendship with God, are we in wonder and awe, seeing ourselves as God sees us?
5. Bringing an interior joy
For many of us graced with this level of friendship, this is clearly understood as being able to be joyful not because the person did something, but simply because they exist. This same joy should be felt with God; he doesn’t have to do anything for us anymore. The fact that he exists is joy enough for us.
6. Harmony of wills
This last quality of friendship is very important because we want to surround ourselves with friends that want the best things for us. This is true for God, too. If we want to be friends with God, we come to realize that he wants the very best for us. We have a desire to follow him because we trust and know that what he wants we ultimately want.
So if someone asks you if you are friends with God, remember these six qualities. Contemplate where you are in your friendship with God and whether you want to be true friends with God. You cannot be true friends with someone if you do not share these six qualities, and the same is true with God.