Friendship (part 1)

He who loves, ought so to love, that if he were asked even for his soul or life, and it were possible, he would not refuse it. I do not say, ‘if he were asked,’ but so that he would even run to present him with the gift. For nothing, nothing can be sweeter than such love; nothing will fall out there that is grievous. Truly ‘a faithful friend is the medicine of life’ (Ecclus. 6:16). Truly ‘a faithful friend is a strong defense’ (Ibid. 14). For what will not a genuine friend perform? What pleasure will he not afford, what benefit, what security? Though you should name infinite treasures, none of them is comparable to a genuine friend…

A friend rejoices at seeing his friend and expands with joy. He is knit to him with a union of soul that affords unspeakable pleasure. And if he only calls him to remembrance, he is roused in mind, and transported. I speak of genuine friends, men of one soul, who would even die for each other, who love fervently. Do not, thinking of those who barely love, who are table-companions, mere nominal friends, suppose that my discourse is refuted. If anyone has a friend such as I speak of, he will acknowledge the truth of my words. He though he sees his friend every day, is not satiated’ For him he prays for the same things as for himself …so dear a thing is a good friend, that times and places are loved on his account. For as bodies that are luminous spread their radiance to the neighboring places, so also friends leave a grace of their own in the places to which they have come. And oftentimes in the absence of friends, as we have stood in those places, we have wept, and remembering the days which we passed together, have sighed…

St. John Chrysostom. Homily 11 on I Thessalonians I. B#57, pp. 329-332.
The Bible and the Holy Fathers, pp.481-482

This entry was posted in St. John Chrysostom and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.