Life of Mary Magdalene - by H. Lacordaire
Of Friendship in Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ loved souls, and he has transmitted this love to us, which is the very basis of Christianity. No true Christian, no living Christian, can be without a fragment of this love that circulates in our veins like the very blood of Christ. From the moment we love, whether it be in youth or in middle age, as a father or as a husband, as a son or as a friend, we want to save the soul we love, that is to say, give it, at the price of our own life, truth in the faith, virtue in grace, peace in redemption. God at last, God known, God loved, God served, there is that love of souls that adds itself to all the others, and which, far from destroying them, exalts and transforms them until it makes of them something divine, however mortal they be in themselves. And, moreover, the love of souls leads to friendship when one has been, near a poor fallen creature, the instrument of the light that reveals her form and which gives back to her her own dignity, this sublime healing of a death that should have been eternal sometimes inspires in two souls an indefinable attraction, born of the happiness given and the happiness received. And if natural sympathy is joined onto this movement that comes from on high, there forms from all these divine chances into the same hearts an attachment that would have no name on earth, if Jesus Christ himself had not said to his disciples: “I have called you my friends.” This then is friendship. It is friendship such as God made man and dying for his friends conceived it. But still, amongst these souls with whom Jesus Christ lived and died, there was one who was especially favoured. He loved them all, but he loved some more than others. It was there, in this world, the summit of human and divine affections; nothing had prepared the world for it, and the world would only see again an obscure image in the holiest and most celestial friendships.