Friends For The Journey

"There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."  -Psalm 18:24

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."  -Psalm 17:17

If you are trying to turn your life around and get into a relationship with Jesus, the best thing you can do at the outset is to find a circle of people who share your pursuit of holiness and will support you in your journey. This will not be easy. It is very difficult to leave old friends and even more difficult to find new friends, but even one or two very good, dedicated people will make it much easier to grow closer to God. Of course, they will help you with accountability, but they will be people on whom you may rely in the valleys and the peaks, both of which are inevitable.

Avoid getting all down on the state of the world, though. It is very easy for your conversations to turn to that, but avoid such depressing discussions at all costs. Yes. Things are worse now than they have been, but are they? In many ways, but Catholics have never had an easy time in the United States. Instead, take the time you have with your friends to discuss the many ways in which God is blessing you, how you are progressing in your journey and what practices and disciplines are working well. If you are experiencing difficulties in your personal journey, by all means discuss that. It is always better to have brothers to share your burdens. Be sure to help your friends with theirs. For the most part keep your conversations limited to those aspects of your life under your direct control. You can avoid watching morally offensive movies, but you can't stop their production. Focus on what you can do and how you are being constructive.

With your friends, go to Adoration together, undertake a Bible or book study. Find talks and lectures on matters of faith and praxis in your area and attend them. Many parishes host excellent speakers and Advent is a time, when many parishes will be hosting parish missions. If there isn't a Catholic film festival in your area, start one in your living room with your friends or meet weekly to discuss a different topic. Of course, always take time for recreation and leisure together in order to reteach yourself what legitimate recreation is.

We are not meant to go through life alone, so we will gather people around us. Make sure that these people are looking to get to Heaven like you. As sinners, it is usually much easier for us to get sidetracked by friends who are distracted by the world, than for us to bring them along with us.


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