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Why Can't We Be Friends?

May 25, 2023 3 min read
Hand of Christ

“You are my friends, if you do what I command.” On the face of it, this seems like a pretty unhealthy friendship. Imagine a young student saying that to a peer – a parent would step in and say, well, that’s not friendship.

Indeed, if that were the ordinary course of things, more than likely that conditional statement would not be healthy. But in this case, the Lord of the Universe issues a condition on his friendship related to doing what he commands. This is not primarily because he withdraws his friendship when we don’t do what he wants, but rather, what he wants is our friendship, and he commands us how to be his friend. His friendship isn’t part of life, it’s the point of life. He will be our friend if we but choose it.

Thus, by extension, how do we view our other “friends”? Aristotle speaks of the friendship of virtue. A teleological or goal-mindset friendship is oriented on a common understanding of what is good and true. There are lesser forms of friendship and these are good insofar as they accomplish lesser goals.

However, when push comes to shove, in both the Classic and Christian understanding, the goal of the true and good takes precedence over the friendship. Thus platitudinal appeals to unity ring hollow when they don’t have a common understanding of what is good. It is important to find common ground with those whom we disagree; however, while getting along may be a Midwest virtue, it is not absolute.

We can’t get along on a very deep level when we disagree on the nature of God, country, sex, or work, and so it’s no surprise we’re divided. But just “getting along” is not deeply possible when one’s ultimate understanding of reality is almost completely separate from another’s.

The late Roger Scruton speaks on the love of home.

An author reflects on growing anti-Catholic and satanic activity in our culture: “Recent years have seen reports of increased demonic activity, at least a 10,000% increase of adherents to paganism(which, from an Augustinian perspective, raises the specter of demon worship), gatherings in Satan’s name, and even glorification and worship of Satanic imagery at the 2023 Grammy Awards.”

In the meantime, another Catholic author exhorts parishioners to encourage their pastors to participate in the National Eucharistic Revival.

A New York professor assaulted a pro-life table and was fired.

In Mexico, an Archbishop was attacked in the sacristy after Mass.

Pope Francis continues to plead for peace in South Sudan, bringing the troubled region back into the spotlight.

Pilgrims believe a mother foundress has been discovered incorrupt in Missouri.

Finally, Donald DeMarco offers a compelling commentary on the need for philosophy.

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