In this mornings daily office we remember Thomas Aquinas as well as read Hosea 3, which gives an amazing and shocking account of the amount of of love that God has for us. It’s an amazing read and probably a book we don’t delve into enough.
But back to Aquinas, because today the memory of Aquinas and what he sees as important have directed my prayers this morning. Quotes like:
‘there is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship’
‘friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious’
and, last one, …‘the things that we love tell us who we are’
Wow, that last one is quite hard hitting, as I think it has a good amount of reality and truth to it.
Today in my prayers I have thought about friends and realise how incredibly fortunate I am. As I reflect I find it mazing that I am still in contact with some from my school days in Weymouth, that others whom I worked with at HT Nailsea, some 20 years ago now, still support me in my work. Friends from YFC who, despite me leaving 6 years ago, still regularly stay in touch and show their friendship in real and practical ways. Closer to home, friends of Rochester and those that have known me for decades in Gillingham show there support through practical support, encouragement and challenge … but it seems it is only very close friends that have the ability to challenge!
Today I have given thanks for and prayed for friends. As I have reflected I have become aware again how amazingly encouraging a phone call, text, email, card, letter …. can be. On some days things have appeared at just the right moment and so the level of encouragement is massively unmeasurable.
As well as valuing friends we have and giving thanks for them, this time of reflection has caused me to consider how good a friend I am. Contemplation is always double edged. So today I am challenged about how I show my value of friendships to others. I guess it’s fairly It’s easy to want to have good friends without being one. I am not sure that works in the long term.
Aquinas’ words are quite amazing. Here is one fo the greatest theologian of his time. Of all the things he could say that were valuable, such as belief, discipleship, care for the poor … and the list could be endless, but I would suggest a great theologian might want to suggest something faith-wise. But, he chooses friendship. I wonder if he got that from observing how Christ spent his time, or rather who he spent his time with, on earth?
So today I am considering, reflecting, contemplating … as well as giving thanks. Maybe there needs to be a belated resolution there as well about time with friends.