Particular Friendships

Recently, I was speaking with a life-long friend, a Catholic priest, about how his order considers on-going priestly formation.  One observation focused my interest.

He said that, some time ago, priests were discouraged from forming “particular friendships.”  The rationale was that forming these connections would decrease one’s ability to respond to the needs of the church, to serve where sent.  

My friend reported that the opposite is true today.  Particular friendships are regarded as integral to one’s formation, one’s development as a whole, flourishing person.  

What a gift of insight!  Particular friends are able to know us in the fullness of our history and evolution as a person.  When I consider what is of ultimate value in my life, particular friends who know me in the fullness of my history ranks among the top.

So, let us attend to our particular friendships.  Who we know and who knows us will make all the difference.