Monday, November 15, 2010

I Have No Friends

I read recently about someone who was giving up their Facebook page; she seemed reluctant to do so. She noted how easy it was to keep up with her family, despite vast distances separating them, and to feel part of their lives --- and to let them be part of hers. Oh, and her other friends, too. She was interested in what many did, and enjoyed their ‘company”. This seemed a good thing. But, she continued, she noticed how often she was updating her page, and the time she was spending there. She noticed that no one in her family was updating their page, or responding to her comments, nearly as often as she. And she realized that this computer screen had become a major part of her life. And she realized that the screen, for all the time she spent with it, was no friend, and really, neither were the vast majority of the “Friends” who were sent her words. And so she quit, as she noted in her blog. And her blog posts, in subsequent days and weeks became less frequent. I think this was a good thing for her.

I have no “Friends”.

Those who seek to read words written on this blog are called “Followers”, not friends – a better word, I believe. I don’t consider anyone who might read these words a friend, many I do not know and in truth I do not wish to know. As noted in the sidebar comment I wrote on “Why Follow This Blog”, I hope some of the words I write here are in some way inspired or uplifting, words of truth as I understand them, words which may help some others, God knows who not I, to also understand truth. And perhaps knowing the truth, they may lead better lives, and grow closer to Him. If they follow in hopes of learning, I welcome followers --- and I pray God use me as His teacher. The few blogs I “follow”, I do so in hopes of growing in holiness through graces which may seep through their words, from them to me, so that I might follow Him better.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.

--- from Padre Pio’s Prayer After Holy Communion

I read a book recently which had a homosexual character in it; he led the “gay” lifestyle. As the book followed his life, and his thoughts, you could see, however, that he was anything but gay. He hid his thoughts and actions from friends and family, not only aware of their disapproval, but also aware that he, in his heart, was uncomfortable with his actions. Yet, he felt a longing for them and a wanting to explain or justify them --- in many ways they seemed “right” for him and his body. As the book progresses, his friends, his true friends, explain that what may seem right and good for the body may not be right and good for the soul. That’s the way sin is. His lifestyle was not “gay”; the word had been hijacked from its true meaning, to one which the body wished it to mean. That is the way with sin, also.

I think the word “Friend” has been subtly hijacked also. For many people, they perceive their human value by the number of Facebook “Friends” they may have, and gain comfort in talking to others about how many people they have befriended. They are kidding themselves. They have and are no more “friends” than that book character was really “gay”. The word is an illusion to justify something they want, their body wants: it wants to justify sin.

Our life is our interaction with real people. The people who see us on television, hear us on radio, hear our sermons, or read our words on Facebook --- or even our blogs --- are not part of our life. Oh, the Holy Spirit may indeed use us to reach them, to share His graces through us, but we don’t gain His graces from tens and hundreds and thousands of “Friends.” No, He reaches out to us very personally, one person to another. That is how love is given or shown. That’s how Jesus spread His word, worked His miracles: one to one, with love.

Some words of Psalm 6, which I read this morning, reminded me of the woman who would give up her Facebook page, the homosexual who would change his life (and of any sinner who would change his ways), or even the person who might convert to the Church and live out its teachings: many of their “friends” won’t like it, and they won’t understand. Many will be content to live the lives they lead, and not make the hard choices of those who would change for the better.

Lord, do not reprove me in Your anger: have mercy on me.
Return, Lord, rescue my soul.
Save me in your merciful love.
I am exhausted with my groaning;
every night I drench my pillow with tears;
I bedew my bed with weeping.

Leave me, all you who do evil;
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord will accept my prayer.
All my foes will retire in confusion,
foiled and suddenly confounded.

Show me Your mercy, Lord, and keep me safe.

For all those who would make the hard choices to change their lives, give up their “friends”, I pray for you.


  1. Then there are those of us who are the creepy lurkers! Thank you for your blog. It has been a source of hope and inspiration to me, along with Barbara's blog and Ask Sister Mary Martha. I am 45 yrs old, happily married, started RCIA this autumn and hope to be received into the church this Easter. I pray my husband might join me someday. I look to blogs such as this one for encouragement that there are many brothers and sisters who are living out their faith with devotion to God. Thanks, Friend!!

  2. Slimsdotter, thank you for your visits, and encouragement. A "creepy lurker"? Well perhaps you lurk here, but I don't know you well enough to call you creepy.

    I'm happy you are following the RCIA road, although it may be a tough one for you; my prayer at the end, I guess, was directed at you. It was sincere. Should you desire any suggested "outside reading", I AM a reader. I'd be happy to suggest readings to help you learn, or grow, in living the Catholic faith.