July 17, 2015

It has been said that if you have but one good friend, you are truly blessed, more than one, you are doubly blessed. I feel a friend should be cared for as a rare flower, sprinkled with kindness, nourished with love and never taken for granted.

Friends are one of the most precious gifts in life. How lonely it would be if we had no friends to share our joys, comfort us when we are blue, and listen, really listen to us when we talk. We can be completely ourselves, never needing to stand on ceremony because there is an unspoken bond between us. Troubles are halved when shared with friends, and burdens are lightened because they care; they truly enrich our hearts.

Friendship means generously extending ourselves to others, always striving to make new acquaintances. As the flowers in our garden are all unique in their own way so, too, are the different friends we meet. Each friend contributes something to us in life. It does not take every waking moment with friends to seal a friendship; distance can not change the warmth and love you have for one another.

Criticism and jealousy toward a friend should be avoided at all costs. Friends, like fragile flowers, are worth protecting because they are so very special. If they are not loved for themselves only, it is not a real friendship. No one need be cold and lonely when they could be warm with the sunshine of friends.

I once read a lovely verse that has a precious lesson for all of us. "Make new friends, but keep the old, those are silver, these are gold." I am reminded of a good old Protestant hymn written in 1855 by Joseph Scriven: "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grieves to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!"

Rev. Bohdan Lukie, CSsR
St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish Bulletin, July 5, 2015

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