Father Benson states: “The essence of a perfect friendship is that each friend reveals himself utterly to the other, flings aside his reserves, and shows himself for what he truly is.”
“The first step therefore in the Divine Friendship is the revelation by Jesus Christ of Himself. . . . Christ begins to exhibit to us not merely the perfections of His past, but the glories of His presence. He begins to live before our eyes; He tears from Himself the conventions with which our imaginations have clothed Him; He lives, moves, speaks, acts, turns this way and that before our eyes. He begins to reveal secret after secret hidden in His own Humanity. We have known facts about Him all our life; we have repeated the Catholic creed; we have assimilated all that theology can tell us. Now, however, we pass from knowledge about Him, to knowledge of Him. We begin to understand that Eternal Life begins in this present. . . . Our God is becoming our Friend.”
“As our God He knows every fibre of the being which He has made; as our Saviour He knows every instant in the past in which we have swerved from His obedience: but, as our Friend, He waits for us to tell Him.”
“Up to now our Lord has been content with very little: He has accepted a tithe of our money, an hour of our time, a few thoughts and a few emotions. . . . He has accepted those things instead of ourselves. Henceforth He demands that all such conventions should cease; that we should be entirely open and honest with Him, that we should display ourselves as we really are.”
“In practically every instance where a soul believes herself disillusioned or disappointed with the Divine Friendship, it is not that she has actually betrayed her Lord or outraged Him or failed to rise to His demands in other matters; but that she has never truly treated Him as a friend at all; she has not been courageous enough to comply with that absolutely necessary condition of all true friendship, namely, a complete and sincere straightforwardness with Him.”
Quotations from Robert Hugh Benson, The Friendship of Christ (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912).