The Friendship of Women (by Joan Chittister, OSB)
“Women supported women in biblical times; women support women today. They care for one another’s children, they cook one another’s meals, they edit reports for one another at the office, they dry one another’s tears, they applaud one another’s gifts, and they build up one another’s spirits through one dashed dream, one hoping generation to the next. Mothers urge daughters to be more than they were ever enabled to be. Sisters hold up sisters when everything else in life conspires to hold them down. Women carry women friends down the rutted roads of a woman’s life until the friend is strong enough to make the journey on her own. Women bind themselves to other women not as prisoners are bound but as mountain climbers are linked: on loose ropes designed to save but not control.” ~Joan Chittister, The Friendship of Women.
I cannot tell you how deeply I felt the words “the Sacrament of Friendship” when I first read them in this book. Truly, there must be such a thing. And to think that I have — so very, very late in life — just discovered that it exists.
I am so very grateful for you all. All of you. How did I not realize before this point in my life how very vital women friendships were?
And you, my darling Marie: Thank you. You are my true Anam Cara. Always and forever.
“. . .once we are loved we have an obligation to live as best we can. Once we have discovered the love that doubles life but does not consume it, we must live so that the other, who walks by the light within us as well as the light within herself, may not proceed befuddled by our own failure to illuminate the way. The love of a friend comes always with a lantern in hand.” ~Joan Chittister, The Friendship of Women.