Quotes & Themes – Friendship


To those who find the doors of religion as well as of marriage closed to them, a holy friendship is nigh indispensable for the welfare of their souls. (Letters to Persons in the World, IV, 53)

The friendship of well-regulated souls is extremely useful to us to keep our own well-regulated. (Letters to Persons in the World, IV, 2)

Perfection does not consist in having no friendships at all, but in having that which is good, holy and sacred. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 19)

What is there to be loved and desired if friendship is not! (Treatise on the Love of God, Book 3, Chapter 13)

Heaven and earth are not distant enough to separate the hearts which our Lord has joined. (Letters to Persons in Religion, II, 18)

Friendship pours out its grace upon all the actions of him who is loved, however little ground of favor there may be. (Treatise on the Love of God, Book 11, Chapter 2)

How far more constant are the friend­ships founded in charity than those whose foundation is in flesh and blood. (Letters to Persons in the World, I, 6)

Friendship requires the exchange of good, not evil. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 23)

The bitternesses of friends are sweets. (Treatise on the Love of God, Book 11, Chapter 2)

We must love our friends notwithstand­ing their imperfections, but we must not love their imperfections. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 22)
The friendship which ends in fine words is not of great worth. (Spiritual Conferences, 4 [1])

Mere earthly friendships are not apt to last, their origin being so frail that the slightest contradiction chills them. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, II, 1)
Friendship which could never end was never true. (Letters to Persons in the World, VII, 20)

Friendships begun in this world will be taken up again, never to be broken off. (Letters to Persons in the World, III, 4)

You know the spot where our hearts meet — there they can see one another in spite of the distance of places. (Letters to Persons in Religion, I, 8)

Never think that distance of place can ever separate souls which God has united by the ties of His Love. (Letters to Persons in the World, II, 11)

It is absolutely necessary for friendship that reciprocity should exist between the two who love each other, and that this friendship should be contracted through the action of reason. (Spiritual Conferences, 4)

Change of scene is a very great help to alleviate the heat and restlessness, whether of sorrow or of love. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 21)

There is nothing like separation of dwellings to preserve union of hearts between those of opposite, although good, characters and aims. (Letters to Persons in the World, III, 9)

Friendship demands the communication of what is good and not evil. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 22)

Friendship being entirely based on communication we can scarcely have friendship with a person without participating in his qualities. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 17)

We can love without being loved. In this case there is love but not friendship, in so far as friendship is a mutual love. If it is not mutual, it is not friendship. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 17)

Friendship founded upon the communication of sensual pleasures is utterly crude and unworthy of the name of friendship. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 17)

To be criticized and accused by the wicked, this is entirely pleasant to a man of courage. But to be criticized, accused and ill-treated by good people, by friends, by relations is a real test of patience. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 3)

Love everyone with a great love of charity but have friendship with those capable of communicating virtuous things to you. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 19)
Just as those who walk on level ground do not need a helping hand, but those who are on a dangerous and slippery path support one another to walk more safely, so too those who are religious do not need particular friendships. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 19)

A friend is an enemy if he wishes to lead us into sin. He deserves to lose friendship when he desires to ruin and destroy a friend. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 22)

A friendship that is confined to beautiful words is worth nothing. It is not loving one another as Our Lord loved us. The Lord was not satisfied in merely telling us that he loved us; he went much beyond and did all he could to prove his love. (Spiritual Conferences, 1)

Tender expressions of love and marks of friendship which we show to persons whom we dislike, going against our natural inclination, are far better and more pleasing to God than those we give purely from natural affection. (Spiritual Conferences, 1)

There is scarcely anyone without some imperfection. Why should we receive indiscriminately the stains and imperfections of the friend along with his friendship? Certainly we must love him in spite of his imperfection. But we must neither love nor receive his imperfection, because friendship demands the communication of what is good and not evil. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 22)

There is no friendship which is more genuine and stronger than that which exists between brothers. That is why the first Christians in the early Church used to call each other brother. However, when this initial fervour died out among the ordinary Christians, Religious Orders were founded. In these Orders it was a Rule to call all the members “Brothers” and “Sisters” as a sign of the sincere, true and warm friendship they have or ought to have for one another. We do not call friendship the love of parents for their children nor the love of children for their parents because there is no equality between them but rather difference. The love of the father is a love that is paternal and authoritative. The love of the children for their father is a love of respect and obedience. But the love between brothers is a stable, strong and lasting love of friendship because their love is mutual, reciprocal and their situation equal. (Spiritual Conferences, 1)

Charity, then, is a love of friendship, a friendship of affection, an affection of preference, but a preference that is unrivalled, supreme, supernatural … Blessed, indeed, is the soul in which charity is poured out; together with that virtue all other blessings come. (Treatise on the Love of God, Book 2, Chapter 22)

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