Virtue of the Month for May is Friendship

1CHVirtue MayThe virtue of the month for Challenge and Conquest in May is friendship. It may not be common to think of friendship as a virtue because virtues are habits that we acquire with hard work and effort. But just think of how hard you need to work each day to be a true friend? To be a true friend to others, you need to live many virtues – kindness, compassion, understanding, selflessness, forgiveness, etc.

Friendship is how I impact the people closest to me and serving those in need through projects and giving of my time is how I impact people I may not know very well. Friendship is a Christian virtue because Jesus lived it. We can turn to his example in the Gospel and his words to find out how to live true friendship. This virtue was so important to Jesus, that he actually commanded his apostles to be good friends to one another… “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. “ ( John 15:12-15) Jesus was able to be a real friend to his apostles when he was here on earth, so why do some people find it hard to believe that you can truly have a friendship with God now through prayer? It’s the same Jesus in the Eucharist who performed the miracles on those in need, who listened to his friends in their time of need and who forgave his apostles when they abandoned him.

1CHvpope quote mayLikewise, Mary is a true friend to each and every person. She is there for us when we need her and wants the best for us. We need to foster this friendship with Mary by turning to her. The Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help  can be found on the back of the Challenge holy card this month. Try to turn to Mary often to say this prayer.  “Mother of Perpetual Help, you have been blessed and favored by God. You became not only the Mother of the Redeemer, but Mother of the redeemed as well. We come to you today as your loving children. Watch over us and take care of us. As you held the child Jesus in your loving arms, so take us in your arms. Be a mother, ready at every moment to help us. For God who is mighty has done great things for you, and God’s mercy is from age to age on those who love God. Intercede for us, dear Mother, in obtaining pardon for our sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to call upon you, Mother of Perpetual Help. ”

1CH youcatmayFriendship with God is based on prayer and it is all about getting to know God and letting HIM become a real part of your daily life. It is about talking to Christ, your friend. You can pray anywhere, anytime… If you find it hard to know what to talk to Christ about, you can warm up your heart by saying prayers that the Church and Christ himself taught us. Christ is always ready to receive you. We need to make every moment a moment of prayer and visit him when we can in the Eucharist. God always listens and responds even if we may not be aware of his response We need to pray. The majority of Christians admit to not having enough time to pray. Other people do not pray because they don’t feel they need to. But we do need to pray because we need God’s grace . Prayer is as essential as breathing. We can’t have friendship or a relationship with God if we do not speak with him or listen to him. Sometimes we get bored in prayer because we focus on our problems or ourselves, which all day we are thinking about. Other times, we get so caught up in the business of life that we need to just stop and think about what God is doing with our lives.  The Youcat number of the month is all about prayer. # 499 When should a person pray? From the earliest times Christians have prayed at least in the morning, at meals, and in the evening. Someone who does not pray regularly will soon not pray at all. Anyone who truly seeks God will keep sending him signals of his longing for his company and friendship.