St Thomas Aquinas gives us some characteristics of true friendship. First, he states that friendship consists in a mutual affection founded on a communication of goods. In the natural order, a friendship may be based on friends sharing of common interests, while in the supernatural order, this deep relationship is based on the communication of the persons involved. Every baptized Christian is called to render love for Love. Jesus has given the soul His All - He has given His life, labors, merits, His very self for all eternity in a loving plan for our happiness and salvation. In return, we are drawn by a tender attachment to surrender our all - our heart, affections, plans, desires, abilities, and selves to Him in an exchange by which we are the winners!
St. Thomas continues by stating that for friendship to be perfect, one friend must make all his happiness consist in living with the other. Jesus has amply fulfilled this by the love gift of His very self in the Eucharist, remaining for all time hidden in the tabernacle, His delight is to be with the children of men. Contemplating such a gift, the soul is moved to reply, one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. We desire and choose to leave our heart on the altar with our Eucharistic Love, allowing Him to form us in His image, bearing Him with us when we come and go about our duties, finding our happiness in being united with Him.
Further, the last of St. Thomas' conditions for authentic friendship is to share, by the deepest sympathy, every pleasure and affliction of the one we love, and have but one heart with him. Christ took our human heart in the Incarnation and made Himself one Heart with us. The heart is the seat of the will, the will the source of love because it is by the movement of the will that one chooses the good of the other, ideally for the other's own sake. Jesus chose our creation, our salvation, and desires our eternal happiness. He has in becoming man taken on all our interests. He feels our sorrows and joys more keenly than we do ourselves and desires that we be united with Him in will that we may take His interests to heart and feel His joys and sorrows as our own.
to be with us always and to have us with Him always, to share our interests and to have us share His. When this relationship has been well developed and fostered in prayer, for as St. Teresa tells us prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God, He invites some souls to deepen this friendship into a spousal love where this exchange is ratified by vow and expressed in a life of loving contemplation and service as consecrated brides of Christ.
whom you have called to praise the greatness of your love, your merciful goodness and your beauty...we pray to you for all consecrated persons. Fill their hearts with the deep certainty of having been chosen to love, to praise and to serve. Enable them to savor your friendship, fill them with your joy and consolation, help them to overcome moments of difficulty and to rise up again with trust after they have fallen; make them mirrors of the divine beauty. Give them the courage to face the challenges of our time and the grace to bring to all mankind the goodness and loving kindness of our Savior Jesus Christ." ~ Vita Consecrata, 111