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Danielle Heckenkamp ponders the blessings of friendship and offers advice on finding and being a good friend.

Sometimes we go through life searching and never quite knowing what we are searching for – sometimes it’s a career change, an unfulfilled dream, a vocation, and sometimes we find ourselves searching for a friend. And then, just when we least expect it, an amazing thoughtful person is sent our way. Someone who doesn’t take advantage of our kindness, but desires to give it in return. Someone who stands by us no matter the mood or stage we are going through in life. Those are the true friends, who stick with us through thick and thin. If you have found someone like that, hold onto them, because good friends are hard to find!

God sends us friends to be our firm support in the whirlpool of struggle. In the company of friends, we will find strength to attain our sublime ideal. (St. Maximilian Kolbe)


2 women sitting, talking, with drinks and snacks


What makes a good friend?

To find a good friend, means we also must understand the virtues of friendship – loyalty, trust, charity, humility (yes, even humility). It is true that people with similar characteristics are drawn to each other. So, we can all work on becoming the type of person we would like as a friend.

A good friend is never in the relationship for their own personal gain. Yes, we all want someone to talk with, to laugh alongside and to just be ourselves with, but true friendship is being prepared to give it in return. Thinking of others is sometimes one of the hardest things to do, but good habits are formed only by repetition. It is through Christ’s example that we can also gain worthy friendships.

Friends are loyal and trustworthy! It’s a form of devotion, dedication, and sometimes with compromise. Friendship is charity and through charity we learn to love, but true love is sacrifice and self-giving. A friendship, or relationship, built on selfishness isn’t true and good. Instead, it’s self-serving. So, let’s imitate Christ and serve others.

On the question of relating to our fellowman – our neighbor’s spiritual need transcends every commandment. Everything else we do is a means to an end. But love is an end already, since God is love. (St. Edith Stein)

friends driving and drinking coffee


Take it easy and enjoy the ride!

We often forget that life is a ride (toward eternity) and we really don’t have control over most of it, but we are responsible for our own personal choices. If we learn to be selfless, life will be much smoother and friendships will grow. A good friendship will learn to “go with the flow.” Oftentimes, schedules change, moods change, and it’s okay. Friendships should never be exhausting, dramatic, or hurtful. True friends understand that the children’s sports schedule changes, faith and family are high on the priority list, or sometimes, there’s just no energy left in the day.

We do need to remember that love doesn’t have a limit: it only grows the more we practice it. Even when there’s little time left for friends and free-time – find a couple of minutes to send a text asking how your friend is doing (maybe she’s having a rough day also), stop by and drop off a bouquet of wildflowers from your backyard, or maybe bake her favorite pie and invite her over for a relaxing day at your house. Every soul desires a joyful life, so why not strive to make each day happier, easier, and more joyful for those you love. And don’t forget to smile! A happy person can move mountains and make some of the best friends!


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To grow in friendship, we must grow in love – even through the suffering. #catholicmom

Love your friends. Appreciate their virtues and their vices. We will all go through difficult moments in life, but it will become clear who our real friends are during those times – it’s the times we can’t smile because the pain is too much, the times we need to let the tears flow, and the times we grieve for a sick child or deceased family member. Those are the difficult and awkward times. The moments that test even the best of friends, but just as Christ never forsake his friends, so too did St. John stay by Christ’s side during His crucifixion. Let’s take this beautiful saint’s example to remain close to Christ and to progress in charitable friendship. To grow in friendship, we must grow in love – even through the suffering.

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

2 friends crying together


Copyright 2021 Danielle Heckenkamp