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I don't agree with every part of this, but it is powerful and leaves me with much to consider.
Here is John Henry Newman's defense of "particular friendships," and should the Church move to condemn such, it is no longer the religion of Jesus Christ or of love. Sermon 5. Love of Relations and Friends "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God." 1 John iv. 7. {51} [Note] ST. JOHN the Apostle and Evangelist is chiefly and most familiarly known to us as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." He was one of the three or four who always attended our Blessed Lord, and had the privilege of the most intimate intercourse with Him; and, more favoured than Peter, James, and Andrew, he was His bosom friend, as we commonly express ourselves. At the solemn supper before Christ suffered, he took his place next Him, and leaned on His breast. As the other three communicated between the multitude and Christ, so St. John communicated between Christ and them. At that Last Supper, Peter dared not ask Jesus a question himself, but bade John put it to Him,—who it was that should betray Him. Thus St. John was the private and intimate friend of Christ. Again, it was to St. John that our Lord committed His Mother, when {52} He was dying on the cross; it was to St. John that He revealed in vision after His departure the fortunes of His Church. Much might be said on this remarkable circumstance. I say remarkable, because it might be supposed that the Son of God Most High could not have loved one man more than another; or again, if so, that He would not have had only one friend, but, as being All-holy, He would have loved all men more or less, in proportion to their holiness. Yet we find our Saviour had a private friend; and this shows us, first, how entirely He was a man, as much as any of us, in His wants and feelings; and next, that there is nothing contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, nothing inconsistent with the fulness of Christian love, in having our affections directed in an especial way towards certain objects, towards those whom the circumstances of our past life, or some peculiarities of character, have endeared to us. There have been men before now, who have supposed Christian love was so diffusive as not to admit of concentration upon individuals; so that we ought to love all men equally. And many there are, who, without bringing forward any theory, yet consider practically that the love of many is something superior to the love of one or two; and neglect the charities of private life, while busy in the schemes of an expansive benevolence, or of effecting a general union and conciliation among Christians. Now I shall here maintain, in opposition to such notions of Christian love, and with our Saviour's pattern before me, that the best preparation for loving the world at large, and loving it duly and wisely, is to {53} cultivate an intimate friendship and affection towards those who are immediately about us.
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2018 on A Hounded Priest at Joseph S. O'Leary homepage
Can I see another's woe, And not be in sorrow too? Can I see another's grief, And not seek for kind relief? Can I see a falling tear, And not feel my sorrow's share? Can a father see his child Weep, nor be with sorrow filled? Can a mother sit and hear An infant groan, an infant fear? No, no! never can it be! Never, never can it be! And can He who smiles on all Hear the wren with sorrows small, Hear the small bird's grief and care, Hear the woes that infants bear - And not sit beside the nest, Pouring pity in their breast, And not sit the cradle near, Weeping tear on infant's tear? And not sit both night and day, Wiping all our tears away? O no! never can it be! Never, never can it be! He doth give His joy to all: He becomes an infant small, He becomes a man of woe, He doth feel the sorrow too. Think not thou canst sigh a sigh, And thy Maker is not by: Think not thou canst weep a tear, And thy Maker is not near. O He gives to us His joy, That our grief He may destroy: Till our grief is fled and gone He doth sit by us and moan. Can I see another's woe, And not be in sorrow too? Can I see another's grief, And not seek for kind relief? Can I see a falling tear, And not feel my sorrow's share? Can a father see his child Weep, nor be with sorrow filled? Can a mother sit and hear An infant groan, an infant fear? No, no! never can it be! Never, never can it be! And can He who smiles on all Hear the wren with sorrows small, Hear the small bird's grief and care, Hear the woes that infants bear - And not sit beside the nest, Pouring pity in their breast, And not sit the cradle near, Weeping tear on infant's tear? And not sit both night and day, Wiping all our tears away? O no! never can it be! Never, never can it be! He doth give His joy to all: He becomes an infant small, He becomes a man of woe, He doth feel the sorrow too. Think not thou canst sigh a sigh, And thy Maker is not by: Think not thou canst weep a tear, And thy Maker is not near. O He gives to us His joy, That our grief He may destroy: Till our grief is fled and gone He doth sit by us and moan.
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2017 on Yeats on Impermanence at Joseph S. O'Leary homepage
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Oct 25, 2017