Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Being BFF with God (Friendship... ch. 5)

"...a sharing in which each friend delights in the goodness of the other, seeks their good, desires their happiness, and finally becomes one with them" (120).

"Charity, this friendship with God, is the love with which the Christian life begins, the love by which it is sustained, and the love in which it is eternally perfected" (120-121).

God is the best friend any of us could have is essentially what Wadell is getting at.

" is a happiness we could never give ourself; it is the gift, the unexcelled graciousness, upon which our friendship with God, and therefore, our life, begins" (123).

To add to our discussion yesterday when asked if we choose to be friends with people, Wadell answers that question in reference to the friendship we have with God by saying, "To love God as friend is to love a God who always loves us first" (124). God chose to love us and in God's love we all have a friend.

In order to be friends with someone you must be equals. Seeing as how this is impossible to be equal to God, Wadell fixes that problem by discussing the grace of God. "Grace is 'a certain habitual gift, by which spoiled human nature is healed, and once healed, is raised up to perform works which merit eternal life.'...Grace 'elevates' us to the end that is our fullness" (125). Without grace we cannot be friends with God because we would not be on God's level, but because God loves us, God gives us grace so that we can join God in friendship.

The latter part of chapter 5 more generalizes friendship, reminding us that it is reciprocal, while also telling us how friendship changes us, including our friendship with God. "No one who is a friend of God remains the same, and that is the tremendously reassuring sign that we do not hope for goodness in vain. In charity we become exactly who we need to become, we begin to hint of holiness" (137). So in God's friendship we still strive for the ultimate goodness and our friendship with God gets us closer to that point.

Friendship, Wadell reminds us, not only make us like the other person, but also grossly unlike the other person, even in our friendship with God. "Love brings likeness, not identity" (138). "If charity is truly friendship, it makes us more fully someone who is not God, it makes us more fully ourselves" (139). "We become more like God because we come to love what God loves, we make God's good our own; but we also become more unlike God because we become more genuinely ourselves" (140).

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