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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael

Mar 25th 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: ...The assumption is that two people of the opposite sex will automatically be drawn into sex re...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

...The assumption is that two people of the opposite sex will automatically be drawn into sex really bugs me. ... Love is free of sex.

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clap clap Let us say: LOVE TRANSCENDS SEX.

Mar 25th 2013 new
(Quote) Beverly-936499 said: I have a personal male friend who is truly as close as a brother to me, who feels like my brother, and who is...
(Quote) Beverly-936499 said:

I have a personal male friend who is truly as close as a brother to me, who feels like my brother, and who is certainly my brother in Christ. I am very fortunate to have that friendship. I've never once, and neither has he, ever felt any romantic type of emotion about our relationship. That kind of friendship probably does not happen often, but I know that it can exist.

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I am with you Beverly. I have a friend who was my husband's friend during high school. They renewed their friendship in their late 20's when we were newlyweds and has been there for me and my boys. He is a great role model, retired naval officer and has watched our family grow long distance over the years. The boys always thought that he was their uncle.
Mar 25th 2013 new
Mixed Gender Friendships

Either to seek or to shun society is a fault in one striving to lead a devout life in the world. To shun society implies indifference and contempt for one's neighbours; and to seek it savours of idleness and uselessness. We are told to love one's neighbour as one's self. In token that we love him, we must not avoid being with him, and the test of loving one's self is to be happy when alone. Think first on thyself, says Saint Bernard, and then on other men. So that, if nothing obliges you to mix in society either at home or abroad, retire within yourself, and hold converse with your own heart. But if friends come to you, or there is fitting cause for you to go forth into society, then, my child, by all means go, and meet your neighbour with a kindly glance and a kindly heart. - "Intro to the Devout Life: Society and Solitude" by Church Doctor and Gentleman St. Francis de Sales

It is a blessed thing to love on earth as we hope to love in Heaven, and to begin that friendship here which is to endure for ever there. Jesus Christ loved John, Lazarus, Martha, and Magdalene with specially tender friendships, as we are told in Holy Scripture. We know that St Paul dearly loved St Mark, St Petronilla, Bishop Stachys (Romans 16:9), Timothy, Thecla, St Claudia and Pope Linus (2 Tim 4:21). St Ambrose loved St Monica because of her many virtues, and that she in return loved him as an Angel of God.

Saint Paul reproaching the derangement of the Gentiles, accuses them of being people without affection, that is to say who had no friendship (Romans 1:31). Make yourself affable to the congregation of the poor, humble your soul to the elderly, and bow your head to a great man (Ecclus 4:7). St. Thomas the Universal Doctor, states that friendship is part of the virtue of justice.1

There are some who will tell you that you should avoid all special affection or friendship, as likely to engross the heart, distract the mind, excite jealousy, and what not. But they are confusing things. Sin, even through acts of silent omission, damages or destroys fraternal communion (CCC 1469). Of the difference between true and false friendship:

Worldly friendship ordinarily produces a grand cluster of honeyed words, a cajolery of small passionate endearments from beauty, grace, and sensual qualities.

Sacred friendship has a simple and frank language, praising the virtue and grace of God, the unique foundation on which it subsists.

Laypeople, through the grace of Jesus Christ, require sacred friendships to ensure and assist each other with the many obstacles that they must overcome in the world (Introduction to the Devout Life: Real Friendship). Better are the wounds of a friend, than the deceitful kisses of an enemy (Proverbs 27:6).

We must have congenial friends as members of the Body of Christ. The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable (1 Cor 12:21). For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (Rom 12:4-5). Therefore, the highest grace does not lie in being without friendships, but in having no friendships which are not good, holy, and true. "Marriage, when rightly understood, is a very real and holy friendship." (Introduction to the Devout Life: On Friendship - Evil & Frivolous Friendship) To a married woman seeking holiness, this advice was written 400 years ago by a bishop, now known as the Gentleman Saint and a Doctor of the Church.

References:

Introduction to the Devout Life by Church Doctor and Gentleman Saint Francis de Sales

On Friendship: Evil and Frivolous Friendship

Frisky Friendships [mitis foltres] / Frivolous Attachments / Amourettes

Of Real Friendship

Of the Difference between True and False Friendship

Remedies against Evil Friendships

Further Advice concerning Intimacies

Of Society and Solitude

Footnotes:

1) The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas - Question 114. The friendliness which is called affability

Source: catholic-lifetime-reading-plan.blogspot.com

PS. I am a godfather today because of the information above.
Mar 25th 2013 new
Christian love is more than eros.

How about philia, storge, and agape? Anyone?
Mar 25th 2013 new

True.
Agapaic love must exist first; if a pair is fortunate, erotic love may come as well. But eros without agape is a recipe for a short-lived relationship.

Mar 25th 2013 new

I'm glad your friend's wife views this in a mature manner.

I lost two male friends when their love interests decided to decree that the gents could no longer stay in touch with female friends of any sort. In one case, my friendship did not recover when the love affair ended...I think, because he was too embarassed to renew the acquaintance.

Mar 25th 2013 new

(Quote) Pat-5351 said:--the one with the feelings is always hoping.
(Quote) Pat-5351 said:--the one with the feelings is always hoping.
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hope dies eventually, when you notice that Reality is staring you in the face.
And if you can accept Reality, the friendship can continue.

Mar 25th 2013 new

Eileen: That is exactly what I'm talking about. My brother-friend is my brother. I no more think of him in a sexual context than I do my pets.

Mar 25th 2013 new

(Quote) Robert-3483 said: Christian love is more than eros. How about philia, storge, and agape? Anyone?
(Quote) Robert-3483 said: Christian love is more than eros.

How about philia, storge, and agape? Anyone?
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Robert, you misconstrued William's point and also are misunderstanding St. Thomas. St. Thomas NEVER meant for company-keeping to be something casual as for recreation or intimate emotional support, whatever you call such a relationship with the opposite sex.

Mar 25th 2013 new

(Quote) Marge-938695 said: But brothers and sisters are not friends, regardless of how we consider the term. .... I kn...
(Quote) Marge-938695 said: But brothers and sisters are not friends, regardless of how we consider the term. .... I know people who no longer talk to certain brothers or sisters...But the quick answer is: you sometimes just don't like a person enough to be willing to get over these (and other issues). And, yes, you can be friends without liking someone 100%!!
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Thanks Marge. Love it. Beautifully stated.

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