The "Men's Group": Sanctification through Spiritual Friendship

Feast of St Timothy the Apostle of the 70

Men_Square.jpegI JOINED a men’s group five or six years ago, and we’re still meeting. It’s a strange thing, the phenomenon of the “men’s group,” and it takes many forms. Ours is an amalgamation of accountability, study, therapy, and most of all friendship. The five of us who started the group (there are nine of us now) did so because we... Continue Reading

The Round Table with a Twist: For or Against Amazon?

Feast of St Macarius the Great

Round_Table_Square.jpegA GROUP of gentlemen in Newton, KS meet monthly to engage in civil and thoughtful conversation. They call themselves Pipes & Pints and they are the fruit of their experience at the Hall of Men. Several of our guys have attended their meetings and liked them so much that they convinced us to try out their format. The Hall of Men... Continue Reading

The Trinity: Friendship's Alpha & Omega

Feast of St Macarius the Great

Trinity_Square_2.jpegWHAT IS friendship? Why is it important and why is it worth cultivating? These axiomatic questions form the heart of the Eighth Day Institute’s Symposium, of which I am honored to be a part. They also form a significant part of the thought and writing of C. S. Lewis. In a letter to his lifelong friend, Arthur Greeves, Lewis touched upon the heart... Continue Reading

Friendship & Community in The Wind in the Willows

Feast of St Anthony the Great

Wind_in_Willows_Square.jpegI AM OF the opinion, and I have it on good authority, that The Wind in the Willows is the most beautiful book ever written in the English language. If you haven’t read it, if you haven’t read it since childhood, if you’ve only seen the cartoon (or if you’ve only been on “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” at Disneyland), I’ll ask you to... Continue Reading

Being As Communion

Feast of St Anthony the Great
Being As Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church by John Zizioulas

Being_as_Communion_Square.jpegFOR TWENTIETH-century Christians, the application of the slogan “No pain, no gain” is appropriate to the painstaking absorption of this sometimes difficult, but immensely rewarding work. Written by the contemporary Orthodox theologian John Zizioulas, these studies represent ground-breaking developments over the past three decades in what has come to be... Continue Reading

St Clement of Alexandria: Are You A Friend Who Does Good to Others?

Feast of St Anthony the Great

Clement_of_Alexandria_Square_3.jpegWE HAVE been taught that there are three forms of friendship. The first and best of these is based on virtue, since the love which proceeds from reason is firmly based. The second stands between the others and is based on mutuality. It involves mutual sharing and is beneficial to life. Friendship on the basis of free giving is mutual. The third, and... Continue Reading

Melancholy Musings on Friendship: Striving for Unity & Opposing Sectarianism

Feast of the Veneration of the Apostle Peter's Chains

Fr_B__Jim_and_Christopher_Square.jpegI HAVE BEEN Catholic now for a bit more than thirteen years. The estrangement from old friends, church families, and institutions has been difficult for me. Some of those relationships are just now really beginning to show any sign of healing. Some of them, because of things like the pesky interference of the limits of mortal life, never will, at... Continue Reading

Ecstasy and Intimacy

Feast of the Martyr Tatiana
Ecstasy and Intimacy: When the Holy Spirit Meets the Human Spirit by Edith M. Humphrey; foreword by Eugene Peterson

Ecstasy_and_Intimacy_Square.jpegDR. HUMPHREY, professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, is a theologian in love with God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In a few pages you’ll find references to St. Augustine, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. John Chrysostom, the Liturgy named for... Continue Reading

Friendship & the Mystery of Personhood

Feast of St. Gregory of Nyssa

Adam_and_Eve_Scenes_Square.jpegWITH THE conjoined truths of the Trinity and Incarnation in mind, Christians may aptly consider how it is that the Triune God enlightens us through one of His created and recreated icons of Love – human communion, as seen particularly in the form known to us as Friendship. Though the world of human relationships is all-too-familiar, a close look at human fellowship discloses... Continue Reading

St Aelred of Rievaulx: What Is Friendship?

Feast of St Dominica the Righteous

Aelred_Square_2.jpegAELRED: You and I are here, and I hope that Christ is between us as a third. Now no one else is present to disturb the peace or to interrupt our friendly conversation. No voice, no noise invades our pleasant retreat. Yes, most beloved, open your heart now and pour whatever you please into the ears of a friend. Gratefully let us welcome... Continue Reading