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On Sacred & Remarkable Friendships

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My 14-year-old son, Liam, fixed his eyes on mine and tearfully choked out, “Mom I want to go home.”

On the surface, his comment made no sense. We had just returned home the day before from Tennessee, where Liam got to visit his long-distance best friend. I never saw that kid smile or laugh so much as he did that weekend. Liam wasn’t talking about returning to our family and house, he was aching for the home he has in his best friend.

It echoed an afternoon I’ll never forget, when I was stressed. The tasks were endless, as were my family’s needs, and I felt like I was running from one thing to the next. Amid the cacophony in my house and head, I caught the faint sound of my phone buzzing. Glancing at the caller’s name, Father Francisco, I prayed, “Oh thank You, Jesus!” My tight shoulders dropped and a huge sigh released before I even answered. This priest-friend called just to check-in on how my family and I were doing. Our brief chat both pulled me out of my mental chaos and yielded so much clarity that afterward I received my family’s needs with earnest peace.

Rachael and Amy don’t know each other, but these two women know more about the battles and victories in my soul than anyone else. They champion my successes and receive me with compassion and truth when sin brings me crashing down. Rejoicing with me, they remain undaunted by my shadows, consistently offering love that reminds me: I am a beloved daughter of the Father. Once when distraught, I implored God to reveal how He was being present to me. You never leave, but where are You? Show me. Before I could finish the thought, I understood that the Lord upheld me through these two friendships.

Belonging, relief, clarity, joyful encouragement, compassion and honesty—they’re all hallmarks of authentic friendship; but more so, they are characteristics of our Savior. God uses these prized friendships to draw me to Himself. Think of every time you felt solace at the mere sight of a friend. Have you received gentle corrections from someone who knows the real you? Has your anxiety or fear been eased after an encouraging exchange with someone dear to you? These experiences are God’s doing. I know I have a home in the particular souls I call friends, and they are priceless treasures from God, but I also want to bear in mind that Jesus infinitely multiplies each gift found in earthly friendship.

In my Lord and through Baptism, I have real belonging. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, He receives me with compassion and gives me loving correction. In the sacred intimacy of Holy Communion, being known and loved has been felt so deeply, it was spiritual clarity. Like my conversation with Father Francisco, Holy Communion refocuses my heart on what matters and restores my Christian attitude toward my husband and children.

Look at your life. Who is it that, through word or deed, beckons you to Jesus and challenges you to a life of faithfulness? Who is it that loves you so well that you want to be better? Who are those who do this for your children? We all know how exhausting family life is, so it’s easy to settle for company that is “good enough,” but, for what it’s worth, I promise you that the intentional pursuit of these grace-filled friendships will buoy your heart, yielding strength and courage on the path to Heaven.

Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter; whoever finds one finds a treasure. Faithful friends are beyond price, no amount can balance their worth. Faithful friends are life-saving medicine; those who fear the Lord will find them. (Sir. 6:14-16)

Katie Sciba is a national speaker and Catholic Press Award- winning columnist. Katie has been married for 15 years and is blessed with six children.

This article appeared in the July 2024 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.


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