Opinion Op Ed 29 Aug 2018 Mystic Mantra: Frien ...

Mystic Mantra: Friendship with God

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DOMINIC EMMANUEL
Published Aug 29, 2018, 6:27 am IST
Updated Aug 29, 2018, 6:47 am IST
Every person is complex and when two individuals enter a relationship, that complexity increases double fold.
 Jesus
  Jesus

Volumes have been written on friendship and love and yet it is not infrequent that many friendships, including those sealed in the bond of marriage, end up in terrible disaster. While the rate of divorces in Western countries is much higher, many friendships and marriages in our own country are not bed of roses either. There are a variety of reasons why friendships fail or have the possibility of failing. Those with a negative experience of a failed friendship are then afraid to enter again into another friendship or relationship. Every person is complex and when two individuals enter a relationship, that complexity increases double fold. Could that be the reason why one rarely hears about friendship with God? In the Bible St. John writes, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

In a scenario when number of friendships fail, can one even think about friendship with God, who, we do not actually see and who, for all we know, may be even more complex than us humans? And the fundamental ingredient for a friendship to start and prosper is naturally, love. As humans we are used to tangible expressions of love. So the basic question is, if friendship with God is at all possible? More importantly, can we even speak about our relationship with God in terms of “friendship”? Should that relationship not be one filled with “awe”, “reverence” and “wonder”, making an automatic reverential distance from that divine being? Or are these just theoretical and theological questions?

 

Father Dominic Emmanuel, a founder-member of the Parliament of Religions, can be contacted at frdominic@gmail.com 

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