Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To Be A Friend

In the Pope's recent cannonization of Cardinal Newman, he called all followers of Christ to a deeper conversion, so there is no longer any separation between our beliefs and our actions.

Fr. Carron, leader of the Catholic movement Communion and Liberation, also says that conversion has a clear goal: more life and more love.  Conversion is always wanting more of the good.  And it's something we cannot do on our own.  God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us friends to help along with this conversion.

But, sometimes, in my insecurities, I feel a little like I'm always the one getting the help from my friends, but I don't really point them to a deeper conversion.  Usually, because I'm just so stinking worried about myself.  I'm responsible (in a way) for my friends and their adherence to what life is asking of them and for them not to betray their hearts.  Do I ever do this?  Do I ever love in such a way?

Sunday night, after I read these things about conversion, I started to panic a little. CRAP!  I'm not a good friend...I don't show my friends  anything about what it means to truly live!  And probably, somewhere deep in my brain, I started analyzing what I was going to do to make this better.  Start sending emails?  Inviting people over for dinner?  How was I going to pay attention to the conversion of my friends?

But God caught me before I could even make a project!  (and projects are not helpful anyway if they didn't happen to you first)  Monday I received an email from a dear friend who loves her heart and lives with great clarity expressing a desire to start School of Community (the meeting of the movement Communion and Liberation) with a group of mothers she meets with weekly.

She was asking me for advice.  Why?  A great question!  This lady has been in CL since practically before birth and knows the human heart so well!  Why was she asking me?  Practically speaking, I had just taken the risk of starting a School of Community at my parish--which, by God's grace has really been fruitful.  But I was moved that she asked me for help on how to get started.

And I realized that what it meant to be a true friend was precisely this...RESPONDING to my friend's needs.  In whatever limited capacity I can give it.  God was giving me the opportunity to be responsible for one of my friends...In that moment, and by responding to her with my experiences and sharing with her some emails I had drafted, I found that I was being a true friend.  Helping her along the journey.  Because none of us is ever so aware of reality that we don't need help.  May I always remember that I am absolutely dependent...just like this woman who I think should "know all the answers" was showing she was dependent.  By acknowledging our limitedness, it is THEN that we can experience conversion!