|St. Aelred, patron saint|
So going back to Saturday when I had my talk, the focus of the talks that day were basically on friendship. With those talks on my mind, more so the deacon's talk rather than my own, I went into the rest of the week thinking about friendship. Then two things happened this week.
First, I ran into an issue (one I don't want to expound on here) and was rather angry about it one evening. I had been told one thing and then found out another and was not happy with the situation nor the position it put me in. I went to an online group of women that I trust completely and consider friends (although I've only met a handful of them in person) and used their patience and friendship to vent about it. I wasn't expecting anything from them, I just knew that they would let me vent, not judge me, and offer prayers for the stress I was dealing with. I got prayers, sympathy, no judgement, etc. and much more. I got some assistance and reassurance that I wasn't expecting! I suddenly felt relief for the first time that evening and felt like the problem may solve itself easier than I had anticipated.
Wow, what a great feeling that was!! These ladies were just the friends I needed at a time when I really needed that love and support. And they may just have solved the problem for me. That's still to be seen. But the point is: I felt so much better!! I was assisted in my need by a group of friends in a way that I probably would not have been able to do on my own.
The second thing is directly tied to the talk I gave on Saturday. I gave that talk in my role as a volunteer leader for the Cursillo movement in my diocese. Our Cursillo movement has a men's weekend coming up in December and we usually always struggle to get enough attendees to hold these weekends. This time, however, we are already getting more candidates than I usually have this far out from the weekend. This can be attributed to the power of friendship. Each candidate must have a sponsor and the sponsors really seem to be praying for their friends hard. One sponsor told me he has been working on some of his friends for two years now! He has several of his friends already signed up to attend.
I'm amazed at the response so far! Only through a trusting, deep friendship are we able to pray our friends into attending these weekends. I told the group on Saturday that our goal is not to get our friends to come to Cursillo, but to bring them closer to Christ. Cursillo is just a bonus. Right now we have lots of people who have been brought closer to Christ and now want to do more.
Only through true friendship are these things possible. And true friendship has to be based on something. I believe when a friendship is based on God and faith it can know no bounds.
Thank you, God, for the power of friendship. Help me and all my friends to continue to deepen our friendships with each other and especially with you and your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
What made you smile this week?