On wholesome spiritual friendship.
Fr. Mark of Vultus Christi posted a peculiar - in a good way - little piece on friendship, which resonated with me and reminded me of one of my Desert Father stories...
First a glimpse at Dom Marco's piece:
"... one must have friendships in life. [ . . .] Let yourself love. There is no danger so long as the spirit of prayer exists in you. And young priests have hours of loneliness that are very hard. They need affection and tenderness. If you don't give it to them, they will go looking for it just anywhere.And then, wisdom from the desert...
Also, at certain hours we need someone to show us affection: a mother, a sister, a brother. Otherwise, if the heart is not anchored, it goes anywhere at all, and is lost." - One must have friendships in life.
Mark asked Arsenius, 'It is right, isn't it, to have nothing unnecessary in one's cell? I saw a brother who had a few cabbages, and he was rooting them out.' Arsenius said, 'It is right, but each should do what is right for his own way of life. If he is not strong enough to endure without the cabbages, he will plant them again.' - Sayings of the Desert Fathers
It's a simple thing.
...............For the priest, the religious, and the single layman.