Friday, July 24, 2009

Augustine on Friendship

A good friend of mine sent me this piece of a biography about Augustine, who lived from November 13, 354 – August 28, 430, born in a Roman city in North Africa called Thagaste, which is now Souk Ahras, Algeria.

"Augustine knew to perfection how to keep such friendship 'on the boil by the heat of shared enthusiasms'. 'All kinds of things rejoiced my soul in their company - to talk and laugh, and to do each other kindnesses; to read pleasant books together; to pass from lightest jesting to talk of the deepest things and back again: to differ without rancour, as a man might differ with himself, and when, most rarely, dissension arose, to find our normal agreement all the sweeter for it; to teach each other and to learn from each other; to be impatient for the return of the absent, and to welcome them with joy on their home-coming; these, and such-like things, proceeding from our hearts as we gave affection and received it back, and shown by face, by voice, by the eyes, and by a thousand other pleasing ways, kindled a flame which fused our very souls together, and, of many, made us one.'"



I would say this embodies many of my thoughts about friendship.