Spiritual Friendship has published over 400 posts by now, all of which are related to friendship in one way or another. This “roundup” post simply tries to collect some of the posts which will be the most helpful in introducing new readers to the main ideas of this blog.
Friendship and covenant is an important theme in Scripture. Abraham, the great father of all who share his faith (Romans 4:16) is also called a friend of God (2 Chronicles 20:7; James 2:23). God “spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11). David and Jonathan form a covenant with each other (1 Samuel 18:3), and David says of Jonathan, “your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women” (2 Samuel 1:26). And at the Last Supper, Jesus calls His disciples friends (John 15:15). Friendship has also been an important part of the Catholic Church’s pastoral approach to homosexual persons.
Spiritual Friendship in 300 Words provides a concise overview of how Ron Belgau learned about spiritual friendship from a 12th-century Cistercian abbot named Aelred of Rievaulx. In Three Kinds of Friendship, he explains the same ideas in greater depth, and in Some Theses on Friendship, he discussed some of the important themes he hopes to explore in this blog.
In Is Friendship an Unconditional Love? and The Problem of Monastic Cliques, Wesley Hill examines the dangers of exclusivity in friendship. In Friendship and the Scandal of Particularity, Ron Belgau responds by pointing out that there is a legitimate need for the specificity of Friendship. Gregg Webb explores some of the differences between the commitment of friendship and the commitment of marriage. Also relevant to this discussion are Eve Tushnet’s thoughts on Detachment in Friendship and Thomas Aquinas’s discussion of the relationship between friendship and charity.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that says that homosexual persons need the support of “disinterested friendship.” This term is a frequent cause of confusion, which Ron Belgau helps to clear up.
Is there such a thing as Friendship at First Sight? Ron Belgau explores some of C. S. Lewis’s writings on this subject.