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Friendship is one of the soul's purest and greatest pleasures, but no matter how many friends you have, and how close you think you are to them, you probably aren't aware of the tremendous spiritual importance of true friendship — and of how crucial it is to keeping your head and your soul in our neo-pagan society.
Author Hugh Black argues that it's actually spiritually dangerous to let friendships remain on the superficial level that all too many people settle for nowadays — doing no more with their friends than going shopping or watching a football game together. He maintains that when you take friendship for granted and don't give it the care it deserves, you turn your back on a God-given source of spiritual vitality, joy, and comfort. But don't despair! Black shows you how to transform superficial friendships into soul-nourishing relationships, bringing them from shallowness and frivolity to a deep communion of mind and heart — a communion that will become for you (and for them) a means for spiritual growth.
Spiritual guidance for good friends — and for married couples, too
If you're married, you'll find here new ways to appreciate the gift God has given to you in your spouse. If you already enjoy the blessings of other mature and spiritually oriented friendships, you'll discover innumerable ways to make them richer, so that they'll approach the full, unbounded love that David had for Jonathan, that St. Francis de Sales had for St. Jane Frances de Chantal, and that Christian friends throughout the ages have enjoyed as they encounter the light of Christ that shines in the souls of other human beings.
Best of all, you'll learn how to seek friendship with God. As you discover the joys of this friendship that transcends death and as you enrich your friendships here on earth, you'll come to see how truly Black speaks when he says that "no one would care to live without friends, even if he had all other good things."
Among the many things you will learn in
The Art of Being a Good Friend:
- How true friendship can give you a complete education in the art of living
- Do you really have any friends at all? Surprising ways to tell the difference between mere acquaintances and genuine friends
- Scripture's shrewd warnings about the pitfalls of socializing — and its high view of friendship
- Why the wisest people through the ages have valued friendship so much
- Unrequited love: how you can turn it into a source of holy joy — no matter how painful it may be
- Why you'll never be truly wise or noble without genuine friendship
- How friendship leads to a fuller life, and even transcends death — so that you can maintain Christian communion with your departed friends
- Common ways you can unintentionally destroy friendships — how to guard against them
- Two things you must have, or you'll never make and keep true friends
- And much more that will bring you friendship's blessings!