It’s late as I write this, because it was late when I got the text.
“Please pray for me.”
My heart sank as the plea rose on my phone’s tiny screen. I silently recited an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be before responding, and over the next twenty minutes or so, we exchanged texts. It is sadly serious.
I won’t go into details, as you can certainly understand and appreciate. But at one point of our conversation, I told my friend “You are not alone now.” To which came the reply “No. I have my children and friends.”
Friends. At the heart of the deepest level of friendship, I believe, is the trust that another person will help shoulder our cross when it becomes too much to bear. I am blessed to have a few friends such as that, as well as being that friend to several others. I’m sure most if not all of you can say the same. God desires us to have such friends, because let’s face it – life in this vale of tears can be absolutely sucky, and while it’s true misery loves company, it’s more true that a communion of cross-bearers sends misery off packing. Its absence may be brief, but there’s a solace and light and a sort of sweetness that affords us a moment to adjust the load, to get our bearings, to face the next day knowing that we are not alone.
I know this to be true because I experienced it within the past few weeks, and not for the first time.
So I ask you, my readers, to please remember my friend in your prayers and at Mass this weekend. Recall the times you had a friend help you bear your burden, and when you were that friend. As the Church, we are a communion of cross-bearers. We are not alone now.