By Abby Solis
During high school, I really struggled to make friends I felt comfortable with. I had a few friends that I connected with, but I struggled to find people I could open up to. In my junior year, I began to feel pulled to make more of an effort in my spiritual life and spend time in prayer.
Praying was difficult, though.
I didn’t know what to do or say and felt my motivation waning. However, the Holy Spirit was working around me and brought me what I needed most. I needed friends who were searching after Christ with me.
I met a few ladies that became lifelong friends. We would have discussions about our prayer lives, guys we were interested in, what we wanted our futures to be like, and all sorts of things in between. These friends motivated me to focus on Christ and were people I could divulge those difficulties of life and faith to. We just wanted to be saints together and experienced so much joy because of that connection.
In today’s readings St. Paul calls the Thessalonians to remember that Christ will come without warning. St. Paul ends his exhortation with this advice, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.” It seems that St. Paul is telling the Thessalonians, and me, that
one of the best ways to remain holy and faithful, while waiting for His return, is to have holy friends.
The friendships that help me pray better, that help me love better, that help me avoid sin better, those are the friendships that help me to have a better friendship with Christ. The more I know how to love and sacrifice for my friends, the more I love and sacrifice for Christ. The friendships I was graced with in high school have changed and adapted to our different stages of life, but we continue to desire only holiness and happiness for each other.
Discovering these holy friendships has been one of the greatest blessings and lessons of my life. St. Thomas Aquinas said, “There is nothing on this earth more prized than true friendship.” This was true for me in high school and is true for me today.
True friendship lead me closer to Christ.
Without those friends in high school my relationship with Christ would not be what it is today. I would not know how to love Jesus as a friend.
Cultivating these holy friendships has continued to be a reminder to me to “stay alert and sober” and has allowed me to do so without being alone. My friends and I were stronger together against the darkness and always loved Christ more because of each other. Holy friendships have truly been a grace from God that I have not been worthy of receiving, but a gift I cannot do without.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abby is a middle school Theology teacher. She received her BA in Theology and Psychology from Benedictine College. She loves laughing with her husband, drinking coffee with friends, ans spending her summers traveling Kansas City with summer campers. Her ultimate saint best friends are Padre Pio and JPII. She is trying to teach herself Latin and how to be ambidextrous, but she does best as a right handed English reader.