2. Cicero also saw virtue as the basis of friendship (De. Amic., XXVII). He said rightly that sincere frienship can exist only between good people (De Amic. V). But the Christian concept of friendship is even deeper. It touches on the supernatural order. True friends love one another in God. Their love must be founded on divine charity (Confessions IV, 4:7).
There is something sacred about friendship in the Christian sense of the word. Mutual love is fostered and elevated by divine charity. Friends love one another not only in this life but also in eternal life. They give one another not only in this life but also in eternal life. They give one another advice. They help one another along the ascending path of virtue, and not merely towards human achievements. They know that their love will last for ever in Heaven.
We should be very grateful to God if we can find a real friend in the full Christian sense. He will be a great consolation and help to us in temporal matters, but above all in our spiritual needs.
3. We should always remember what The Imitation of Christ has to say about friendship. "In me the love of thy friend ought to stand," God is represented as saying, "and for me is he to be loved who ever he be, that appeareth to thee good and much to be loved in this life. Without me friendship can neither profit nor endure; nor is that love true and pure which I do not bind together." (Imit. of Christ, Bk. III, Chapter 42:1)
If we allow ourselves to be guided by these principles, a friend will be a real treasure. He will be a treasure which we shall not lose on earth and which will help us to gain Heaven. The words of St. Augustine are consoling. "We cannot lose a friend, if he is dear to us in God Who is never lost." (Confessions IV, 4:7)
Let us cultivate friendship, but let it be Christian friendship founded on these principles, which come from God and lead us back to Him.