Featured Post

JPII and St. Nicholas

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friendship, Chaput and JPII

Update 12/28/16:

It’s been a long while since I took a course in symbolic logic, but I have thoroughly appreciated the method ever since 2005.  It’s an excellent reminder that communicating can be as simple as an equation, whether using a validly deductive method or a validly inductive method. 

Here’s a stab at an ongoing approach to friendship that I put together from Wojtyla’s Love and Responsibility:

ᴲ Sympathy→ ᴲ Conformity of Wills ᵾ (ᴲ Trust & ᴲ Sympathy) → ᴲ Virtue of Hope ᵾ (ᴲ Trust & ᴲ Sympathy)

The key to interpreting the above is as follows:



In summary, the ᴲ’s and ᵾ’s serve as ends in themselves for the qualifiers (means) expressed in concepts like “trust”, etc.  After all, no one would argue that “Trust” is an end, but is rather an aid toward friendship of persons.

Overall, it’s easy to see how particular friendship is with 7 out of 9 ends being ᴲ.  The few absolutes may need some explanation then, seeing as how they could easily be argued as either/or.  When I assign ᵾ to “conformity of wills”, I am referring to what is ideally being conformed to, namely, God’s laws/the natural law in terms of chastity, well informed conscience, etc.  Likewise, when I assign ᵾ to hope, I am referring to the end of hope which is the Lord Himself.
Update 9/5/16:
A few great points by Chaput, differentiating between loyalty and fidelity,

"The root of loyalty is the French word loi (law).  The root of fidelity is the Latin word fides (trust).  Loyalty is ordered to duty and fidelity is ordered to love.  And real love, as every mature adult knows, is both beautiful and demanding." (213).

I find this striking insofar as cuts to the quick of much of Jesus' own critique of his contemporaries.  It also speaks of St. Faustina's image: Jezu ufam tobie.  Loyalty can be done for all the wrong reasons, as in adhering to the illogical conclusions of Roe v. Wade in America.  Fidelity, on the other hand, clings to the trustworthiness of a Person, the Son of God.

This makes all the difference in the world for Wojtyla's approach as well; since without trust, there is no sympathy down the road, and vice versa:
Sympathy→ Conformity of Wills (Trust & Sympathy) → Virtue of Hope (Trust & Sympathy)

A few lessons I've learned from the Capuchin Archbishop Chaput after reading his Render Unto Caesar:

Evangelization should accompany friendship
  • If it does not then the friendship is not genuine (190)
    • The reason being that Christ himself is the 1st love and Cause of friendship
  • An aspect of missionary activity should also be involved (193)
His main premise is that "the Gospel spreads by personal contact and friendship" (190).  It is hard to argue against this, seeing as how many saints were close friends: Ignatius and Xavier, Francis and Claire, to name a few.

But what exactly mission would have to do with a potentially insular relationship like friendship would be a harder sell.  For this reason, immediately following his statement on friendship, Chaput references JPII's Centesimus Annus:

We need to root the social dimension of our Catholic faith, and everything else we do, in God's love, which is the fuel for our mission of evangelization.  Pope John Paul II reminded us that Catholic social doctrine, at its root, is missionary.  It is 'an instrument of evangelization'. (193)

When I speak of friendship on this level of evangelization I am often met with a major misunderstanding and offense.  "You mean friends aren't those I choose to 'just get along' with?" and, "there needs to be some kind of agenda when it comes to spending time with my friends?"

My answer, for theirs and for one's own sake, is "that's correct, friendship is for evangelization and mission too".

No comments: