Remember to check Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site. Four paragraphs (287-290) look at “The call of Jesus our friend.”
287. To discern our personal vocation, we have to realize that it is a calling from a friend, who is Jesus. When we give something to our friends, we give them the best we have. It will not necessarily be what is most expensive or hard to obtain, but what we know will make them happy. Friends are so sensitive to this that they can already imagine the smile on their friend’s face when he or she opens that gift. This sort of discernment that takes place among friends is what I suggest you take as a model for trying to discover God’s will for your lives.
Friendship is a common theme in Ignatian spirituality. God made us as social, interactive beings. Even introverts. How we relate to Jesus depends on how we been utilize our human nature. Friend-to-friend connections can be as profound, loving, and fruitful as any relationship. While it is true that St Ignatius first describes Jesus as a general fighting the army of evil, that military image might well work for someone with fighting experience. But most everyone can relate to the notion of friend. And it is part of the Last Supper narrative in which Jesus calls his disciples friends. If we are disciples, therefore, we are friends indeed.
Jesus relates to us as a friend with a great offering:
288. I want you to know that, when the Lord thinks of each of you and what he wants to give you, he sees you as his close friend. And if he plans to grant you a grace, a charism that will help you live to the full and become someone who benefits others, someone who leaves a mark in life, it will surely be a gift that will bring you more joy and excitement than anything else in this world. Not because that gift will be rare or extraordinary, but because it will perfectly fit you. It will be a perfect fit for your entire life.
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