Wednesday, April 01, 2009

You can't count on people.

This is both a religious truth and a popular truism. We like to delude ourselves that it isn't true while we become joyful friends with someone. The happiness of true blue friendship seems to carry the inherent promise of endurance. Even moreso than romance, which is fraught with insecurities and pressures, deep friendships combine light-hearted casual love with weighty, time-worn loyalty.

Would that this was a guarantee.

But even friendships, which are some of the holiest things in nature, are natural and are part of the "world which is passing away". Fr. Denis Robinson of St. Meinrad Archabbey coached me in this one lonely evening at the American College of Louvain. I was melancholy because all of my friends were gone. I felt empty without them. Father reminded me that as long as we trust our happiness to something of the Earth--even a dear friend--that happiness is doomed to drown with the sinking ship.

Only Christ can be trusted. Only Christ will not pass away.

It would be a mistake to disregard this as mere religious misanthropy. The intention is not to withdraw from friendships into the cold darkness of a candle-lit chapel; nor is it to turn one's nose up to lost friends like so many sour grapes. "Bah! Forget friends!" No, it's actually more innocent than that. By remembering the human condition, we learn to regard friends as beautiful clouds. They dot the sky; they remain for a time; and then they leave. There is nothing I can do about it--why mourn the passing of a cloud? Christ is the beautiful blue behind the clouds, and he contributes to their beauty. When they all pass away, he remains, and he is still beautiful.


Matt of CG said...

A year ago, I lost my best and only friend of fifteen years to the birth of an illegitimate child and the subsequent ravages of a loveless marriage. "Simplicity is the key, Eric. You chose her so you can unchoose her too. Do what's best for your son." I said. "Yeah, I can't just let anyone fall into my lap again. Next time the woman needs to be making 65 a year like me or have a bachelor's degree as a sign of having her shit together." he said.

He's still married to her. Saying and doing are two different things. I've lived my entire life saying, but never doing. Jesus Christ is infallible because He has done everything He said He would so far. I know I can count on His second coming.

Matt of CG said...

Sympathy and innocence, like every other moral goodness, work best when tested by their opposites. What happened to the 13 myths? I'm mildly disappointed by their disappearance. I thought you were going to challenge the core fallacies of our contemporaneous social moorings so as to find them lacking any real strength, creating a beautiful opportunity to replace them with infrangible Christian truth.

Although I have the capacity for the refutation of such myths, I lack the education and the patience that you possess. An education and patience that is absolutely necessary for any good apologist of this age.

The crassness, the grossly oversimplified nature of my response to this now-deleted post was deliberate. Controversy is the premier facility of any meaningful religious dialogue, but it is never the aim. We both know this.

Well I guess that's it for me. Bye.