I Call You Friends

“What could be more beautiful and consoling, than those words of Our Lord: ‘I will not now call you servants; . . . I have called you friends.’ Well might St. Gregory the Great exclaim: ‘Oh, how great is the mercy of our Creator! We are not His worthy servants and He calls us now His friends.'”

“Two things are required for perfect friendship—liberty and equality; and both are given to us by Divine grace. The Apostle tells us, ‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,’ and grace raises the soul to a great degree of union with God, and even to a likeness with Him, so that the distance between him and God is no longer so great as to make him utterly unworthy of His friendship.”

“How exquisitely is the value of a friend described in Holy Writ! ‘A faithful friend is a strong defence, and he that hath found him hath found a treasure. A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality.’ (Sir 6:14-16) And where shall we find fidelity such as we find it in Him, who, having been made man and died for us on the Cross, now gives Himself to us, and abides with us for evermore, under the form of bread and wine? Should we not say to our hearts: ‘Without a friend thou canst not well live, and if Jesus be not thy Friend above all thou wilt be exceedingly sad and desolate. . . . Love Him and keep Him for thy Friend, who when all go will not leave thee, nor suffer thee to perish in the end.'”

“God is our Friend only in order to benefit and enrich us; and as He has set no bounds to His liberality towards us, so we should make Him a return by unbounded love and devotion.”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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