January 2, 2017
A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” —St. Basil the Great
"We are not made for ourselves alone, we are made for the good of all our fellow creatures." —St. Gregory Nanzianzen
Today's feast day is shared by two saints: Basil the Great and Gregory Nanzianzen. During their lives in the fourth century, they shared a close friendship, encouraging one another in the faith. Their friendship was not without disagreements—they quarreled, for instance, when Basil assigned Gregory to a bishopric. While Basil fell naturally into his role as bishop, Gregory yearned for a quiet, contemplative life and felt that the priesthood had been thrust upon him. But despite their different temperaments and misunderstandings, they reconciled, remaining close friends until their death. Each understood the value of their friendship; they knew that God had placed the other in their lives for a reason. Together, with their combined strengths, they fought against the Arian heresy, guided the fledgling Church through difficult years, and produced illuminating writings on the Holy Spirit.
These saints remind me of how grateful I am for the friendships I've formed within the Frassati fellowship. A friend who can encourage you in the faith is invaluable. We need one another, and we are stronger together, with our many different gifts. It is a comfort to know that each of us is not alone in fighting the good fight. God places people in our lives to help and support us, and He has designed us so that we will need to lean on one another and work as a team. Saints Basil and Gregory, pray for us!