What Is Friendship? – St. Augustine

Originally from here.

“It’s hard to laugh when you are by yourself.” – Confessions

“So that a human being might not be alone, a system of friendship was created. Friendship begins with one’s spouse and children, and from there moves on to strangers. But considering the fact that we all have the same father (Adam) and the same mother (Eve) who will be a stranger? Every human being is neighbor to every other human being. Ask nature: Is this man unknown? He’s still human. Is this woman an enemy? She’s still human. Is this man a foe? He is still a human being. Is this woman a friend? Let her remain a friend. Is this man an enemy? Let him become a friend.” – Sermon

“Pangs of longing which tear me apart because those who are fastened to me by the bond of the strongest and sweetest friendship are not here physically present to me.” – Letter to Novatus
“The consolation of other friends did the most to repair the damage and give me strength after the death of my friend. The interchange between us captured my mind: conversation and joking, doing favors for each other, reading together good books, being foolish and being serious together, disagreeing without hatred almost as though I was debating with myself, sometimes falling into disagreement but thereby remembering on how many things we agreed, teaching and learning from each other, waiting impatiently for the absent to return and rejoicing when they did. These and so many other like signs coming from the hearts of friends are shown through their eyes and mouths and speech and a thousand little gestures. All of these expressions of friendship brought our hearts together like bundled kindling, making one out of many.” – Confessions

“What is there to console us in this human society so full of errors and trials except the truth and mutual love of true and good friends.” – Confessions
 “He truly loves a friend who loves God in the friend, either because God is actually present in the friend or in order that God may be so present. This is true love. If we love another for another reason, we hate them more than we love them.” – Sermon

 “A person must be a friend of truth before they can be a friend of a human being.”

 “How confused it all is! One who seems to be my enemy turns out to be my friend and those whom we thought our good friends in fact are our worst enemies.” – Sermon
“True friendship can harbor no suspicion; a friend must speak to his friend as freely as to his second self.”

“Wherefore, my well beloved and most amiable brother, by the friendship which unites us, and by our faith in the divine law itself, I would warn you never to link yourself in friendship with those shadows of the realm of darkness, and to break off without delay whatever friendship may have been begun between you and them.”

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