Belong Together – Authentic Friendship: Lisa Cotter

For the women’s session, the men left the building so Lisa Cotter could just address the ladies. She stressed the importance of our female friends because being feminine can be complicated and only women truly understand what it is like to be a woman. We need each other. But how do we create deep and lasting friendships?

Three Types of Friendship

Aristotle said there are three different types of friendship:

Friendships of Utility– This type of friendship is based on someone being useful to you, like a friend from a class.

Friendships of Pleasure– These friendships are based on the fun times together (teammates, friends from a club, etc.)

Friendships that are useful or pleasurable are not necessarily bad, but as soon as the usefulness or pleasure is not there, the friendship ends.

Friendships of Virtue (Excellence)– These friendships are based upon doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way. These are deepest forms of friendship.

Will the Good of Another

St. Thomas Aquinas once said, “To love is to will the good of another.” A virtuous friend is one that wants what is best for you, and is happy for you when it happens. Sometimes this can be a struggle…especially when we want what our friend has. But as Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.

We who belong to this church are the Body of Christ. We believe that mystically, we are one body. We function as one. If you believe this, then you know that when one person in the body succeeds, we all succeed because we are on the same team.

Lisa gave us her favorite example of two women on the same team, Mary and Elizabeth. When Mary visits Elizabeth to share her good news of carrying the Savior in her womb, Elizabeth is full of joy. Lisa projected a painting by Corby Eisbacher, called “Jump for Joy” on the big screen. She then read the Scripture.

What if Elizabeth had been jealous and felt the Mary’s miracle was cooler than hers? She didn’t. She was overjoyed.

Good Ground Rules for Virtuous Friends

Virtuous friends call each other higher. In college, Lisa found virtuous friends who followed a set ground rules:

Be authentic– “If you are who you were meant to be, you will set the world on fire.“- St. Catherine of Siena

Be vulnerable– It means being real and truthful. It’s scary because someone could reject you if you show who you really are. Why do it? Because REAL relationships have to be vulnerable. If you want to go deeper in your relationships, you have to be willing to go there.

Be accountable– It is not easy to call someone out on something. Pray about it first. Make sure God is calling you to speak the truth. Ask yourself, “What is my motivation?”  Your reason must be out of love. Your approach must be done in love.

Virtuous friends point us to Jesus. They support us in attending Mass, going to Confession when we need to, and praying with us when we need help.

Lisa challenged the ladies to pray FOR each other and WITH each other. She then gave them a chance to practice just that when she had them break up into small groups and gave them a chance to pray together over each other’s needs.

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Written by Missy Naumann
Missy Naumann lives in St. Charles, MO with her husband Ted and their four kids; Sam, Abby, Ben and Mary. Since her kids are now all teenagers and older, she keeps up on their activities by stalking their SnapChat accounts. Her day job is working for a social service agency in St. Charles, Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service. In her free time she loves spending time with her family, photography, and the great outdoors!