We’ve considered some problems with our contemporary political discourse and made some suggestions about how a “Catholic political discourse” can improve the present situation. We are left to consider: At the end of the day, what can the Catholic truly expect from politics? The great American Catholic writer Walker Percy answers this question best by suggesting that humans both must learn to be at home in their homelessness and find some rootedness in imperfect communities.
One of the oldest reflections on friendship is Plato’s Lysis in which Socrates suggests that a friend “somehow belong[s] to his beloved either in his soul or in some characteristic, habit, or aspect of his soul.” Developing this intuition, Aristotle, later argued that in a perfect friendship, friends must “live together,” by sharing deeply in one another’s inner life, famously describing such a friend as “another self.” True friends are those whose hearts and minds pursue the same thing—goodness for Plato and virtue for Aristotle.
Relocating is different from moving. This was one of the first things my husband, daughter, and I learned when transplanting ourselves, our stuff, and our lives from one mid-western city to another. Sure, both involve packing (and unpacking), finding a new place to store the Crock Pot, and identifying a good route for walking the dog. But relocation, because it involves moving across the country rather than just across the street, involves a much bigger transition. Starting over in a new community, new schools, and new jobs, involves transitioning one’s whole life. For this reason it is an entirely different enterprise and poses unique challenges. One challenge I had not fully anticipated was making new friends.
When a good friend proposed the idea of a weekly prayer group to our shared circle of friends, I jumped on the idea. My confession is that the eagerness I felt had less to do with the idea of praying and more to do with the thought of seeing this group of women regularly. We’re in a long-distance series of friendships, spanning two time zones and four states, and the prospect of having a particular reason to meet through video chatting every Tuesday thrilled me.
It is not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18).
The ol’ rugged individualism used to be a mark of American pride, but our culture is discovering the folly of self-reliance.