featured image
"Holy Homies" by Stephanie Stovall (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pixabay.com (2016), CC0/PD[/caption]   St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier, bros. St. Felicity and St. Perpetua, like sisters. St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, friends. St. Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, pals. St. Kevin, St. Comgall, St. Columba, St. Cannich and St. Kieran, all buddies (I only recently found out about this saintly crew on St. Kevin’s feast day and was blown away by the number of saint friends he was surrounded by!) As we get to know the lives of the Saints we quickly see a pattern in their chosen way of life. Saints surrounded themselves with other souls that were striving for sainthood. Looking at one saint you find out that they were encouraged and held accountable by friends that understood their deepest desire -- God -- and they committed themselves to fully living out the faith. The Bible is full of friendships that we can learn from. St. Peter and St. Paul teach us about true friendship through genuine accountability, even if things could get awkward. David and Jonathan are a beautiful example of deep friendship. Fr. John Riccardo has a fabulous talk on male friendship. This is a great listen that challenges you as you reflect on your own friendships. Looking back at my life thus far, I can clearly see the fruits from godly friendships and how I allowed other relationships to derail me from my spiritual goals. Great friends in college helped me to discern situations like how to spend my free time and even who I should or shouldn’t date. These friends challenged my friendship with God and set examples for me that I still strive for to this day. After college, solid friends were hard to find. After asking God to provide good Catholic friends for me, He definitely delivered. He has provided women that have helped me make the jump from contracepting to fully committing to NFP. God has put women in my life that challenge me in my prayer life and encourage me when I just don’t feel like wasting time with God when there’s so many other things on the to-do list. They have taught me to let go of crazy ideas like -- I can’t invite people over if my laundry mountain is still in my living room. These friends have helped sear in my heart the value of my miscarried babies when others were rolling their eyes at my grief. Now as a wife and mom I have taken up praying for God to provide great friendships for my family. Of course I hope all of our boys have strong friendship within their brotherly love, but I know the friends they make out of our family unit will impact their lives greatly- and that is something that needs serious praying over. I have prayed for God to bring my husband friendships with men that are holy and will strengthen him in his journey towards becoming the man he was created to be. Just recently my husband and I became a part of the Domestic Church movement and have been so blessed with “couple friends” that are fighting to stay on the same path we’re fighting to stay on. We were not meant to live this life on our own. We need so much help to stay the course. Finding other souls that are striving for sainthood, that are committed to fighting the same temptations, can truly take our spiritual lives to heights we couldn’t imagine.
 Iron sharpens iron; so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Copyright 2019 Stephanie Stovall