Friendship: It Can't Hurt
One of my favorite things about being Catholic is being backed up by 2,000 years of traditions and Magisterium. I just love finding something that I struggled to articulate, put so perfectly by someone far wiser than myself. For example, I recently spent four hours in conversation trying to articulate why exactly, in complicated relationship situations, it's far better - even if not easier - to err on the side of friendship, which helps ensure one of two possibilities: 1) circumstances will change and eventually lead to marriage, in which case the time devoted to pursuing friendship will have built a strong foundation for the relationship, or 2) if it never leads to anything beyond friendship, then at least that will have been preserved. Anyway, this is a long build-up to something that I found in the Catechism while working on a research project yesterday. After spending so long trying to figure out how to articulate what seemed right, and getting frustrated with my inability to word it well, I found the following:
The virtue of chastity blooms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends, who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality. Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one's neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion. (CCC 2347)Ha! "A great good for all"! I knew it! Thank you, Catechism!