Great friendships


" A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out "

I have just received the perfect story which beautifully illustrates this point and I quote :

  "Because of you." 

 One day when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school.  His name was Kyle.  It looked like he was carrying all of his books.  I thought to myself, why would anyone bring home all his books on Friday? He must be a real nerd.

  "I had a quiet weekend planned for myself.  Parties and football games  with my friends the next afternoon, so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.  Next I saw a bunch of kids running towards this guy.  They ran at him knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so that he landed in the dirt.  His glasses were flying and as he looked up I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.  I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses I saw that he was crying.  I helped him up, found his glasses and asked him where he lived.  As it turned out he lived near to me and I hadn't seen him before because he had gone to a private school.  I would never have hung out with such a kid but as we walked home I carried his books.  I invited him to play football with my friends that weekend and we became fast friends.  All my pals grew to love him too. 

 On Monday morning I joked about his sack of books and he handed me half the pile.  "Over the next four years our friendship flourished and then we began to think about college.  Kyle decided on Georgetown because he wanted to become a doctor and I went to Duke on a football scholarship to do a business course.  Kyle was valedictorian of our class and had to prepare a speech for graduation.  I was glad not to have to go up there and speak.

  "Graduation day, I saw Kyle.  He looked great.  He had filled out and actually looked good in glasses and all the girls loved him.  Now he looked nervous.  I smacked him on the back and said "You'll be great" and he gave me one of those shy smiles and thanked me.  Clearing his throat he began: "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.

  Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach... but mostly your friends.  I am here to tell you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give.  I am going to tell you a story..."I just looked at Kyle in disbelief as he continued telling the story of the first day we met.  He had planned to kill himself that weekend.  He had cleaned his room so that his mum would be spared the trouble after his death.  He went on and explained that because of that terrible bullying he just could not carry on.  He concluded by saying: "My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

  I heard a gasp going through the crowd as this popular handsome guy told of his weakest moment.  Not until then did I realise the depth of his grateful smile.  Never underestimate the power of your words and actions.  One small gesture, word or smile can change a person's life for better or worse. 

 God puts all of us in each others lives to impact one another in some way.  Always look for God in others.  "Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly'."

  I would now like to add a few words myself to this powerful story.  Regarding apathy on the part of teachers and especially of all those who profess to be Christians and who stand by and do nothing in defence of victimised children or adults, this is what Edmund Bourke had to say: "For evil to triumph, it only takes good people to remain silent and do nothing". 


St Luke reminds us in (Ch,9,verse 48)

 "Your care for others is the measure of your greatness"

Always have the guts to stand up and be counted.


'The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small  / tho' patience He stands waiting / with exactness grinds He all'.  

 Friedrich Von Logau ( 1614 - 55 ).

translated into English by



"Finally, we should never forget the ringing words of the Jew, Elie Wiesel, survivor of Hitler's death camps, who said : "I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.  We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor never the victim.   Silence encourages the tormentor never the tormented." 

 Klaus Vella Bardon from his article :

"The immorality of neutrality."


"A home is a place, and when you get there, they have to let you in."

Robert Frost.


"Other people are our pathway to heaven.   Your  neighbours are the channel through which all your virtues and kindness are tested and come to birth.   Just as evil people give birth to all the vices through their neighbours". 

 (St. Catherine of Siena).


When we respond in love, we release a power into the lives of our enemies.    

 (St. Catherine of Siena).  


There is a way of losing by gaining.   You can win an argument but lose a friend. Through competition and promotion I may advance in my profession, but in terms of relationships I am impoverished.   My energies are so focused on efficiency and success that I haven't time to grow emotionally and to develop my capacity for relationships. In one's drive to attain power, a person may sacrifice friendship and loyalty, so much so that one ends up alone.   Lord, let me never forget your haunting words:  'What good will it do you to gain the whole world if you lose your soul?. 

The voice of John the Baptist was a lonely voice which many of his contemporaries ignored.   There are many lonely voices in our world.  Somewhere at this moment a child is crying - crying for love or maybe simply for bread.   Somewhere a young person is crying - crying for a listening ear or an understanding heart.   Somewhere an old person is crying - crying for a visit or a word from his children.

There are a thousand unheard cries in our world, coming from the victims of injustice and neglect.   Lord, help us to listen to these voices.  Above all, help us to listen to your voice, whispering to us in the wilderness of our hearts, telling us that we are loved by you, and that we are to love one another.


Anita Kilbride - Jones,

St Paul's Bay, Malta.



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