30 March 2020

“My friends have come to me unsought. The great God gave them to me.”
               ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, First Series
This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson is so true – we gain friendship with someone because of a random un-planned encounter – meeting someone at school, university, through someone else, at the pub, or at church. Friendship will then grow over time. God given.
Of course, all this self-isolation has meant less time with our friends and family, especially as future events become cancelled (birthday parties, etc) and we continue to stay at home. 
However, there’s some positives to all of this – in our self-isolation, we are making more time to call our friends (and family!) - see how they are and keep in contact. I’ve recently been able to enjoy two evenings with my friends online via one of the many computer programs that makes this possible. I’ve shared a drink and a catch-up, whilst sharing our news and, of course, our worries too. 
 “When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathise with him and comfort him.” - Job 2:11 
Don’t set off for your friend’s home, but why not spend some time today praying for your friends and then giving one of them a call or sending them a message? We live in a time where this is easy enough to do. 
Let us pray...
Dear Lord, teach me to love others the way you first loved me. As I build relationships with others, let them see you in the extent of my generosity, the authenticity of my kindness, and the depths of my love. All of those things are only possible through you, the God who abides with me and calls me friend. Amen.
The Carmelite Friars are keeping everyone in their prayers. God bless you all.

(Reflection written by Matthew Betts)