Is it wrong to pray to find a good faithful friend? I am so lonely, and I want to have a good friend in my life, but I am worried that God might not want this for me? Catholic tradition teaches that we should find our comfort only in God alone, and we shouldn’t want to find comfort in creatures, because the world can not satisfy our hearts. God originally did not want the Israel people to have a king, because God himself wanted to be their king, but because the people continued to ask for a king, God gave them King Saul and eventually King David. If I ask God to grant me a good friend, am I somehow betraying God? Saint Faustina recorded in her diary that she was about to give flowers to someone and she heard an interior voice from God telling her that she was becoming too attached to that person and immediately St. Faustina decided not to give the flowers to her friend anymore. I myself am not a religious consecrated person (nun/priest) like St. Faustina , and so might not be called to live that extreme form of detachment, but I am a permanently celibate young person (due to my same-sex attraction) , and I would like to have a good friend in my life … since I will never be able to get married. The loneliness can get terrible sometimes. Help me please. What should I do ? Should I just quietly accept my lonelinesss as the cross that God has given me to honor him? Should I try my best to pray as much as possible to different saints in Heaven in order to somehow decrease the loneliness in my life? Maybe if I have an intense prayer life with the saints then I might be able to not feel lonely anymore? If there are any priests or nun on this forum, please please give me any advice on how to deal with loneliness in a celibate life.
Jesus had close, personal friends. Scripture is full of accounts of friendship. David and Johnathan, Ruth and Naomi, etc.
The Church speaks beautifully:
2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship . It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends, who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.
Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one’s neighbor . Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.
The nature of God’s love is that He wants us to share it with others. Having friends is a good thing and one that is well worth praying for.
One thing that I think might help you: When you are formulating your prayers do not pray for people to be your friends, pray that God guides you to people you can be friends to. God’s love is a giving love and He calls us to love in that way as well.
Accepting your cross doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing to avoid it - even Jesus prayed that the cup be removed from him. The important thing is that you follow Gods will, even if the answer to your prayer is a ‘no’
“Tribulation does its work in a world where human beings are ordinarily seeking, by lawful means, to avoid their own natural evil and to attain their natural good, and presupposes such a world… Hence the Perfect Man brought to Gethsemane a will, and a strong will, to escape suffering and death if such escape were compatible with the Father’s will, combined with a perfect readiness for obedience if it were not.” CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain
In short, I’ve been praying to God for good Christian friends since I was 10 years old as a Protestant, and He continues to give great Catholic friends even now. I say this to encourage you. While we are to be docile to the Holy Spirit, I can be 99% sure that unless there’s a something going on in the big picture, that He will answer this prayer. I’ve done it no less than 3 times from my childhood through my adult life. The times in between when I didn’t have friends…it was just ugh. I would pray again and He answers every time. Every. Time. Each and Every Time.
Certainly we can pray, but as it turns out, it is only partially up to God. DW worked for a very wise district court judge. He told her:
“I went looking for a friend and found none. I became a friend and found many.”
No matter how small, nothing we pray is ever wrong, unless we are praying for something that is wrong.
If course it’s not wrong. It sounds like you are isolating yourself unnecessarily. Like you said you are not living under religious vows or a rule. Have you spoken to a Priest about this? Please do not isolate yourself. God created us as social creatures. He wants us to have good friends. You are not alone!
I can identify with what you are saying though my struggles and crosses are different, and it’s exactly that sort of isolation and scrupulosity that led me to being away from the church for 3+ years. I just came back this week and am feeling very lonely too. But I will find new friends who are trying to please God, and I hope that you do to. I’ll pray for you.
No, that’s a beautiful thing to pray about. I’m very sorry you are struggling with this. I’ll pray for you as well.
I am so confused. On one hand, the Catholic Church teaches that we must find happiness in God alone and despise the world, but on the other hand, God gives us so many examples of friendship in the Bible such as David and Jonathan, Mary and Elizabeth, the paralyzed man who was carried to Jesus by his friends…
The Litany of Humility says “From the desire of being loved, Deliver me Jesus.” And the Imitation of Christ says, “God, Grant that I may die to all things in this world, and for Your sake love to be despised and unknown in this life. Give me above all desires the desire to rest in You, and in You let my heart have peace. You are true peace of heart. TRUE COMFORT IS TO BE SOUGHT IN GOD ALONE. Vain and brief is all human consolation” (Book 3 Chapter 11).
But then Pier Giorgio Frassati had such beautiful and amazing friends.
I am worried that my desire to have a good friend in my life … and my constant loneliness … is somehow very selfish and sinful. If one of my friends invited me to go out to eat, I would say yes immediately without even thinking about how long. But when I go to Eucharistic Adoration, I can’t stay there for a long time, because something inside of me really doesn’t like going to Eucharistic Adoration. I want to love God with all my heart, but because I know that I will never get married due to my same sex attraction, I want to at least have some friends with whom I can share my life. I’m confused.
Ok but it’s awfully tough to love others if we’re alone… friendships are important. They help us develop and grow. Imho though, I would pray that Gods will be done for you. I’ve found that things often work out really well when I do that. Things I didn’t know I needed get resolved…
Edit: are there groups you can join in your age range? Newman center, Knights of columbus, parish groups? There is tons to do and people too.
There is no contradiction, the desire to love and the desire to be loved are two different things. The desire to be loved implies that you are not already loved enough by God, but the desire to love is the desire to do as God has commanded you to do.
Note specifically that we know of the friends of the paralyzed man by what they did for him, not what they got from him. It was when Jesus saw their faith he forgave the man. They advocated for their friend. Of course you should seek to be that kind of advocate.
Everything I said above is a valid response, but this is looking like more than a dilemma, this is looking like a source of anxiety. Have you talked with a priest about your worries?
Neither of these are Sacred Scripture, they are both pious writings. They are not infallible.
The Litany, asking for the “desire to be loved” to be lessened does not mean “take away all of my friendships”. It means do not let that desire for love become my only goal in this life.
It is not selfish to desire and pray for Godly friends.
I’ve been thinking about your post-life is difficult enough and without friends, it can be much worse. I wish our society (and especially our church) did more to foster relationships between it’s members. Have you considered joining the Knights of Columbus or something?
Jesus told St. Faustina in Paragraph 588 of her diary: “Every movement of your heart is known to Me. Know, My daughter, that one glance of yours directed at someone else would wound me more than many sins committed by another person.” Then in paragraph 591 St. Faustina says, “Jesus You know how ardently I desire to hide so that no one may know me but your sweetest heart. I want to be a tiny violent hiddennin the grass unknown…”
Do you think that maybe God might be calling me live out this radical form of loneliness in my life because Jesus himself wants my heart to belong exclusively to himself ? This awful loneliness I feel - is this the sacrifice God wants from me?
I don’t want to dismiss your question, but there is no way this forum can help you with that. For what it is worth I don’t think that is what you are called to, but I’m some faceless stranger in the internet. Please, talk with a priest.
God wants us to be happy on earth, in wholesome ways. Having close, healthy and positive friendships is nourishing to the soul, and in no way “betrays” God. The same God who created each of us created each of our friends, and appreciating the goodness in that gift is actually honoring God.
Having good friends is vital to mental health and friends who are faithful to God can inspire you and help you to follow Him even better. Jesus did say that wherever two or three are gathered in His name, that there He is in the midst of them. Human beings were meant to live, survive, and thrive in community. Being lonely is truly painful.
I’m not SSA, but I actually prayed yesterday to have a friend. I’m 60, and never had a good friend in my life, so this is the first time it occured to me to say a prayer for that kind of thing.
I see what you mean about how as how the saints led lives (a lot of them anyways), completely dependent on God for everything. But, I think that’s for the consecrated life really. In the beginning, doesn’t God say that “it isn’t good for man to be alone”? before he creates Eve?
Another thought that occurs to me as you mention struggling with SSA; have you heard about the Courage website? It’s for Men, women, families who struggle with SSA or a parent who has a son or daughter with SSA. There are Courage chapters that meet for people who need support and friendship regarding this issue. the “Encourage” group is for everyone else; family & friends trying to understand their loved one and the difficulties arising in families with a loved one who struggles with SSA.
I don’t think you’re suppose to go thru life without a good friend/ God knows what each of us needs and I think he will put someone in your path because he loves you and wants you to be happy and fullfilled.
I’ll say a prayer for you in any case!