“It is not enough for Me to have shown you My love; I also want to open up My Heart to you, whence a refreshing spring will issue and where all men will quench their thirst (…) If you wish to test the power of this spring about which I am talking, first learn to know Me better and to love Me to the extent that I desire, that is, not only as a Father, but as your Friend and Confidant” (Father’s message to Sr. Eugenia Ravasio).
Our Heavenly Father wants to give us direct access to His heart, to His innermost being. This refreshing fountain must reach all who thirst for love, truth and justice, in order to vivify them. He made it flow through the Heart of His Son Jesus, so that it may reach us.
To experience the power of this source, the Father invites us to love Him also as a friend. Since all expressions of love have their origin in God, He wants all of them to be included in His relationship with His own.
Friendship has a slightly different nuance than the other expressions of love. While in the filial relationship we look upon God with love and respect as our Father, never forgetting that it was He, in His infinite love, who created us and redeemed us; friendship has a slightly different character. In the relationship of friendship, there is a common goal and interest that moves us. In the natural affection that unites friends, they converse, so to speak, on the same level, exchanging ideas and common interests, knowing that they understand each other. There is an inner kinship between them that comes from love. Although our friends can and must correct us when we stray, they will always do so in the attitude of a confidant and ally, who we cannot close ourselves off to and whose friendship we know we will not lose.
If true friendship is already so valuable and edifying on the human level, how much more so is friendship with God, to which He Himself invites us! Jesus said to His disciples: “You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father” (Jn 15:14-15).
Just as Jesus does with His disciples, so the Father invites us to a friendship with Him. In it we learn to know more deeply His being and the source of love that flows from His Heart. God wants to live with us in the trust and familiarity of a friendship. In this way He will also be able to confide to us His deepest desires and concerns, like a friend.
Perhaps we can say that, as we get to know our Father more deeply, He becomes a paternal friend to us, so that we come to love Him more and more as such and to know that we are loved by Him.