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David and Jonathan, Model of Friendship-St Aelred

David and Jonathan, Model of Spiritual Friendship

Blessed Aelred, abbot

 

St. Alelred, AbbotBlessed Aelred was a Cistercian Abbot in 12th century England.  His "De Spiritali Amicitia" (Treatise on Spiritual Friendship) is the fullest medieval discussion of friendship and its associated virtues.  This excerpt from that treatise (Lib 3: PL 195, 692-693) is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings for Wednesday in the 12th week of ordinary time as a commentary on I Samuel 19:8-10; 20:1-17 and a wonderful resource for Catholic Bible study of the Old Testament.

 

That outstanding youth, Jonathan, son of King Saul, made an alliance with David, but it was not in the hope of obtaining the royal crown or winning the kingdom. For the sake of their friendship, he set David above himself as if he had been his master and not his own father’s servant, expelled, hiding in the desert, sentenced to death, destined for execution – he abased himself and raised David up: You will be king, he said, and I will be next below you in rank.


What an excellent example of true friendship! What a wonder! The king was raging against his servant and stirring up the whole country as if against a pretender to the throne. He accuses priests of treachery and has them killed on the mere suspicion – he has the forests and the valleys searched – he posts armed guards on cliffs and mountains. Everyone swears to punish the object of the king’s anger; but Jonathan, who alone has the right to envy the designated successor to the throne – Jonathan chose to resist his father, keep his friend supplied with news, give him counsel in his adversity. Thinking it better to be a friend than a king: You will be king, he said, and I will be next below you in rank.


See how the father tried to make the young man envy his friend, how he goaded him with insults, threatened him with dispossession, and warned him of the honors he would lose. But even when Saul had condemned David to death, Jonathan did not fail his friend. “Why should David die? What has he done wrong? What has he done? It was he who took his life in his hands and struck down the Philistine – you rejoiced, then. So why should he die?”


At these words the king was beside himself with rage and tried to pin Jonathan to the wall with his spear, pouring out new insults and threats. “Son of a wanton and lascivious woman! I know that you love him, to your own shame and the shame of your shameless mother!” Then he poured out on the young man all the venom he had in him. He tried to stir up ambition and envy, bitterness and jealousy in Jonathan’s breast: As long as the son of Jesse lives, your kingdom cannot be established.


Who would not have been moved to jealousy by these words? Whose love would not have been corrupted, grace diminished, friendship wiped out? But this most loving youth held fast to the oaths of friendship he had sworn, stood up to the threats, endured the insults, and disdained the kingdom for the sake of friendship, careless of the glory he would miss but mindful of the integrity he would keep. You will be king, he said, and I will be next below you in rank.


Here is a true and perfect friendship, solid and eternal: a friendship that envy does not corrupt, suspicion does not diminish or ambition wipe out. It does not cease even under such a trial; even under such a battering it does not collapse. Assailed with abuse, it stands firm; beaten with insults, it does not bend. Go thou, and do likewise.

 

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Personal Prayer: Pathway to Joy

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

Personal Pray: Pathway to Joy, Catholic Faith, 30 day money back guarenteeEveryone knows that personal prayer is important.  You can't expect to deepen a relationship with God talking with Him only once a week!  But how, in the midst of the busy, noisy life we all lead, can we develop a pattern of daily prayer that really works?  And if we are successful in carving out some moments for prayer, what do we do?  How should we spend that time in way that would be most fruitful?

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. has taught spiritual theology academically, but, more importantly, he's had plenty of practice applying that tradition to everyday life.  With a family of seven, a business, and a non-profit corporation to run, he knows the challenges that a busy, active life can pose to the Christian who wants to pray.  In this talk, he lays down principles and gives practical suggestions on how busy laypeople can develop a prayer life that leads to joy and personal transformation.

CD - $8.95                  Audio Tape - $8.95

 

 


The Virtues: Seven Habit of ChampionsEWTN - The Virtues: Seven Habits of Champions

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio offers a spirited 8-part mediation in this new EWTN Home Video on the four moral virtues - Fortitude, Prudence, Justice, and Temperance - as well as the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

Seven Habits of Champions lays out how God's inspiration for Christian living, contained in the Scriptures and made known through the Catechism and Church documents, is accessible to everyone and demonstrated for us through the lives of the saints. We are all called to holiness. And though the practice of these seven "habits," heroic virtue can be attained!

Each DVD tape contains 4 episodes aired on EWTN!

DVD 1:

Introduction to the Virtues

The Cardinal Virtue of Prudence

The Cardinal Virtue of Justice

The Cardinal Virtue of Temperance

DVD 2:

The Cardinal Virtue of Fortitude

The Theological Virtue of Faith

The Theological Virtue of Hope

The Theological Virtue of Charity 

Set of Two DVD with 8 shows - $49.95


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