How many real friends do you have? Honestly, many people we call friends would probably better qualify as pals or buddies. The first step to getting real friends is to recognize how we are all made to be gifts of love. God is love and we were made in his image. We were also made for community, because God is a community of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Living out this love and community as God does requires availability and vulnerability.
By availability we mean “care-free timelessness”, as Catholic evangelist Matthew Kelly calls it.
By vulnerability we mean taking off the mask. This is the really hard part. As a missionary Fr. Mike knows once said, vulnerability is not just transparency. Transparency is letting someone look into the fish bowl. Vulnerability is inviting them into the fishbowl and letting them move things around.
How can we all learn to grow in love, community, availability, and vulnerability so we can become real friends to others and live as the image of God in the world?
Looking for more good Catholic advice from Fr. Mike? He co-wrote a guide to discernment with Jackie and Bobby Angel called Pray, Decide, and Don’t Worry. Check it out!
Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz
Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
He is a presenter in Ascension’s Chosen, Altaration, and The 99 programs, and has a channel on Ascension Presents. He is also the host of the Ascension podcasts The Bible in a Year and The Catechism in a Year.