“Friendship, therefore, is that virtue by which spirits are bound by ties of love and sweetness, and out of many are made one.” – Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship Aelred of Rievaulx wrote about friendship in the 12th century, but so much of it rings true today, too! The “sweetness” of being united in friendship hasn’t changed over the centuries. We still long for it deeply (when we pause long enough to notice that!). But have you ever thought about friendship as a “virtue”? As something that is a deep good—something to intentionally cultivate—like honesty or courage? Some part of some of us may feel like deep, soul friendship just isn’t for us. Our experiences have led us to believe that it just isn’t possible. We tried and failed, loved and lost. And gave up hoping for it somewhere along the way. We may be aware of our desire for this kind of friendship, but it feels impossible—because it involves a whole other person and their responses! It’s not something we can control or make happen. We resign ourselves to many acquaintances, but no one that really knows us in our depths. What would it be to choose to lean into the virtue of friendship, for you? Would it be choosing vulnerability in a relationship that hasn’t yet “gone there”—trying it out, experimenting with something that might be very difficult for you? Would it be praying for a friend that you know is struggling, allowing your souls to unite in the connection of empathy? How might God be inviting you to deepen your friendships in this season? To step into an intentional spiritual practice of friendship (whatever happens)? (Aelred of Rievaulx’s Spiritual Friendship [Book 1] was our October book club read over in the Scriptorium! We will be discussing it tomorrow evening—and there will be other books in the coming months—if you’d like to join us!) *Image by Kevin Gent on Unsplash

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2022-11-08 14:45:07 UTC