No better pursuit, enterprise, objective in life than to strive on a daily basis to grow in Friendship with Jesus the Lord. Many engage in worldly pursuit exerting time, effort, money as well as blood, sweat and tears for merely human enterprises which end up in disillusion, sadness and defeat.

Pursuing whole-heartedly friendship with Jesus fulfills all the most sublime desires of the human heart.   The great convert, who sought happiness in pleasure, sensuality and worldliness, finally after more than 30 years of life found true happiness in Jesus. In his Confessions he affirmed this: “O Lord you have made our hearts for thee and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.”   What are specific and concrete ways to grow in Friendship with Jesus?

1.     AVOID SIN!   Starting with the negative!  First, as regards any friendship, we must decide firmly to avoid those damages, wounds or ruptures the friendship.   Sin damages, weakens, chills or—in the case of mortal sin—severs or ruptures our Friendship with Jesus.   Sin is mortal enemy number one in our Friendship with Jesus! Dominic Savio stated bluntly as a First Communion proposal--- Jesus will be my best Friend and death rather than sin!


2.    KNOW HIM!   Common sense teaches us that we cannot love somebody that we do not know.  The same applies to our relationship with Jesus: we have to get to know Jesus!  Best way?  The Gospels!   The 4 Gospels are at the very heart of the Bible, because they specifically contain who Jesus is.  His own words, His miracles, His example, How healings, His love by dying for us on the cross and rising on the third day—all of these are contained in the Gospels.  Every day we should have one of the Gospels in our hands and pray before we read, it meditate on it prayerfully, absorb the content, try to live it out and allow the Gospel to transform us.  St. Jerome stated bluntly, “Ignorance of Sacred Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”  How fortunate we are to be able to read, to have access to the Gospels and have teachers to indicate how to meditate fruitfully on these sacred texts!


3.     SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.  Highly recommended by the saints--- especially by Saint Alphonsus and Pope Benedict XVI in his document Sacramentum Caritatis--- is the practice of the “Spiritual Communion”.  One can make as many spiritual communions as one desires.  Indeed it is an excellent manner to keep the love for Jesus burning in our hearts.
4.    EUCHARISTIC VISITS.   Being a priest or Religious has many special blessings! A prime example is having the Blessed Sacrament underneath ones roof!  However, even if one is not a priest or nun, Jesus is waiting for you to visit Him at any moment in the Blessed Sacrament, in the Tabernacle. He suffers loneliness and is longing for your visit.  He Himself said: “Come to me all of you who are wary and I will give your rest….” (Mt 11:28-30).  As a child I remember learning this short poem:  “Whenever I see a church I stop to make a visit so that when I die that Lord will not say “Who is it?”


5.    HOLY HOUR!  Better yet, why not make a Holy Hour!   A short visit is fine, but a longer visit much better!  True friends want to spend more extended periods of time together.  How easy is to watch a movie, go to a baseball game, watch a soap-opera or even to go to a Mall to do window shopping or even “shop until you drop!”   The night before “Black Friday” thousands in the country camp outside stores for buying!  How insignificant these pursuits in comparison to spending time with Jesus, the best of Friends.   If you have never made a Holy Hour then bring three “helps”: The Bible, Rosary, and prayer book.    With the Bible, you meditate on God’s word, with the Rosary you talk to Jesus through Mary, with the prayer book, you can talk to Jesus, Mary the angels and saints through formal vocal prayers.  At any time, you can simply look up at Jesus and talk to Him from your heart, love Him thank Him, adore, Him beg Him for graces, talk to Him over something that is on your mind, or simply rest silently in His warm and loving Presence.   Venerable Fulton Sheen called it his “Daily Hour or Power!”


6.    HOLY MASS AND HOLY COMMUNION.  By far the best action that could ever be done in our lives is to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the receive the sublime fruit of Holy Mass, Holy Communion which is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus the Lord.   All the angels in heaven look at us with envy, with respect to Holy Communion. Even though all of the angels are greater than us in intelligence, power of will and love of God, still not even the highest angel in heaven is capable of receiving Jesus into his being in Holy Communion.   Our sanctification deepens largely on the frequency, the disposition, and manner that we receive Holy Communion.  May our attitude be the following: “Jesus may I receive you today in Holy Communion as if it were my 1st Holy Communion, Last Holy Communion, only Holy Communion, and the Holy Communion on which I will be judged for all eternity!  With and attitude like this, our Holy Communions will grow in fervor, frequency, fruitfulness and gradually transform us into saints--- “No longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” (St. Paul).


7.    READ/STUDY ON THE EUCHARIST!   Never have we ever lived in a world with so much information, but also so much confusion. However, we live in a “Golden Age” of classical spiritual literature!  Where can we start?  The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Diary of St. Faustina book VI, the Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis, book IV, the “Eucharist”, by Father Lovasik, the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II on the Eucharist, Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis” and finally the Dogmatic Constitution from Vat. II on the Liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, or one of the many short books on the Mass and Eucharist by St. Peter Julian Eymard!   The literature is endless, but start with one of these sources or consult your spiritual director!


8.     EUCHARISTIC APOSTLE!   When we sincerely love somebody or something, we cannot wait to share this person or thing with others.  Andrew met Jesus and loved Him and he could not keep this knowledge to himself, he ran to his brother Simon Peter and told him.  This started a long-term and growing Friendship between Jesus and Simon Peter—despite falls and human weaknesses!   Definitely, it should be our ardent desire to make Jesus known and loved and followed!   Today many people are like a sheep without a shepherd, a ship without a port, an arrow without a target. A dog without a master, a chicken with its head cut off, or even like a dog running after his tail.  The Book of Jonah concludes with and these people who do not know their left hand from their right.   Confusion abounds simply because of a lack of knowledge and love for Jesus.  Make it your firm purpose and decision to bring Jesus to others and others to Jesus!


9.     REPARATION!  Hundreds of years ago in a convent in France, Jesus complained to St. Margaret Mary Aloqoque, “Behold the Heart that has loved so much and it only receives indifference in return.” Jesus suffered due to an attitude of indifference and apathy towards His love. Even more so today, ignorance, indifference, apathy reigns!   Jesus suffers immensely due to religious indifference; he warns us in the Book of Revelation: “You are neither hot nor cold—I wish we were hot or cold—but you are lukewarm.  I will vomit you from my mouth.  Due to this widespread indifference towards Jesus in the Eucharist we should make reparation as well as to console the suffering Heart of Jesus. How? The best way is to offer Holy Communions as well as Masses of Reparation!


10. MARY AND THE EUCHARIST!   Turn often to the Blessed Virgin Mary begging for her powerful intercession to help you to grow in Friendship with Jesus. Never did there exist on earth a more tender, loving intimate, profound, faithful, growing Friendship with Jesus as in the case of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Hopefully our Friendship with Jesus, starting right now will grow. However, in the past it might have been like a “Roller-coaster!” Up and down, some good days, others not so good, faithfulness speckled with failures.  On the contrary with the Blessed Virgin Mary! Her relationship with Jesus and Mother and Disciple and Best Friend could be compared to a Sky-rocket shot off towards the moon.  Up and up and up and up! Never a downer! Always did Mary’s love and friendship with Jesus grow. For that reason we beg her to be more “Sky-rocket” and less “Roller-coaster!”