Friday, February 25, 2011

A Faithful Friend is Beyond Price

This morning Augustine and I went to the morning Mass at our church [it was a great way to start the day!].

The Old Testament reading for the day was taken from the book of Sirach. Although I have not read the book of Sirach from start to finish in a couple years, I remember it having nugget after nugget of wisdom, particularly in regards to relationships [for example--I want to be that wife...sigh].

Today's reading, though certainly applicable to spouses, spoke about friendship in general:

A kind mouth multiplies friends and appeases enemies,
and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings.

Let your acquaintances be many,
but one in a thousand your confidant.

When you gain a friend, first test him,
and be not too ready to trust him.

For one sort is a freind when it suits him,
but he will not be with you in time of distress.

Another is a friend who becomes an enemy,
and tells of the quarrel to your shame.

Another is a friend, a boon companion,
who will not be with you when sorrow comes.
When things go well, he is your other self,
and lords it over your servants;
But if you are brought low, he turns against you
and avoids meeting you.

Keep away from your enemies;
be on your guard with your friends.

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he who finds one finds a treausre.

A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his worth.

A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy,
such as he who fears God finds;
For he who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his friend will be like himself.

Sirach 6:5-17

As I listened to the reading, I was reminded what it is to be a good friend...and what it is to be a poor friend.

I found the reading to be both warmly sentimental, as I thought of some of the great friends God has blessed me well as convicting, as I thought of ways I could be a better friend:
for example...
by refusing to engage in, or tolerate, gossip
by always having the best interest of one's friend in mind
by being there for one's friends, especially when it's difficult & not just when it's convenient
by not using friends for ulterior or self-serving or selfish motives
by really listening to one's friends
and who could forget the Golden Rule: treating one's friends as one would like to be treated.

I have been blessed with some great friends...
Friends who have been friends for years and have seen me through really hard times.
My sisters, who are WONDERFUL.
Girlfriends who I can share my faith with and who understand me in a speical way.
Other Moms with whom I can share that bond.
My incredible husband, who embodies everything a good friend should be.
And, of course, our Lord, who is the perfect friend who will never disappoint or abandon us.

I like how the reading also communicates that not everyone is a good friend and it is ok not to be friends with everyone...but that a faithful friend is a sturdy shelter, a faithful friend is beyond price, and a faithful friend is a life-saving remedy.

How beautiful!

And how true!

Thank God for readings like this to inspire me to be a better friend and thank God for all my faithful friends!

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