Catholic Brotherhood Then and Now

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From Batman and Robin to Abbot and Costello, dynamic duos have been an essential part of history. Friendships such as Jackie Robinson and Peewee Reese faced against all manner of hatred and bigotry.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Catholic Church has its own share of dynamic duos. We have David and Jonathan, Moses and Jonah, Elijah and Elisha…But the duo whose feast we celebrate today is that of Saints Peter and Paul.

Being a cradle Catholic, I had a soft spot for Saint Peter. I used to joke that Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter not just because he’ll become the foundation of the Church, but also because Peter had a really thick head! Peter was always one to spit out whatever thought came into his mind, even if it didn’t make any sense or if it was the wrong thing to say. Yet, after Jesus’s resurrection, Peter changed. He took on the responsibility as being the head of Christ’s Church, which meant keeping order. One only needs to read about the incident with Ananias and Sapphira to see the difference between how Peter was before Jesus died and after.

In contrast, we have Paul of Tarsus. Paul started out as a young, zealous Pharisee who felt justified in persecuting Christians. After Jesus intervened, though, it became Paul’s mission to spread the Good News to the Gentiles since he had the advantage of being fluent in Greek and was welcomed in most cities in the Mediterranean area.

Bishop Robert Barron said that the Catholic Church needs to have the spirits of both Peter and Paul: “Without the Petrine discipline, the Pauline work would be unfocused and continually in danger of dissolution. Without the Pauline energy, the Petrine work would devolve into cold management and ecclesiastical bureaucracy.”

The spirits of Peter and Paul live on today,  namely with these two popes:

Benedict and Francis have both Peter and Paul in them. Like Peter, Pope Francis has a tendency to speak off-the-cuff. His blunt remarks can be both refreshing and unsettling. And yet, like Paul, Pope Francis is also well-known for how often he reaches out to the poor and marginalized. He has an effect on people no matter where he goes.

Pope Benedict, on the other hand, carries on the Petrine discipline. He may not be in the public eye as often as he used to be, but he’s still praying for the Church. The way we pray in Church will forever be changed because of him. And yet, like Paul, he’s also intelligent and well-educated. Future theology students will probably be studying his works for class.

I’m tired of people pitting these two against each other. In reality, they are brothers in Christ and in what is essentially their shared papacy. I have no doubt that sometime in the future, these two will be canonized together, much in the same way Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II were.

Four Loves Friday: Philia AKA Friendship

Sorry again for not updating on Tuesday. I’ve come up with an idea on what to do for this blog and I realized that the whole “True Love Tuesday” thing was seriously biased of me. I want this blog to be more than just my ramblings on fandoms. I want to show the things I love to bring out a stronger truth. With that, let’s continue the Four Loves Friday with Philia AKA friendship.

Like Affection, Friendship is often overlooked in the shadow of Eros. However, Friendship has it even worse than Affection because it seems so everyday compared to the sweet softness of Affection and the grandiose affair that is Eros. The worst thing is that people often want Friendship to turn into Eros. (Just google “JohnLock.”) Why is that?

According to CS Lewis, it’s because few people experience what friendship really is. Look beyond the pastel-colored ponies that declare “Friendship is Magic” and give this some thought: Friendship is not something that comes naturally. Eros eventually leads to the creation of future generations. Affection helps raise future generations. But friendship? It’s not a necessity. Think about the most logically created business mergers or arranged marriages. Yes, it sounds cold and detached, but at one point, society didn’t put such an emphasis on feelings.

Nowadays, we put such an emphasis on feelings that people often assume there is something more than friendship when two people are out on the town together with no other companions tagging along. If a man and a woman are seen out together, it’s assumed that they’re in a relationship. If it’s two men, they’re gay. If it’s two women, they’re lesbians. Even now, completely platonic friendships seem unnatural because of how oversexualized our culture has become. 

However, in this age where technology has become a part of our everyday lives, new ways of creating friendships have formed. The internet has become a great way to find people who share a common interest in something. The best example of this are the content creators from That Guy With The Glasses. They all have a shared interest of expressing their opinions on various media. They meet in conventions or via online hangouts and people can see, from the huge amount of crossovers, that these guys have developed a camaraderie. Some romantic relationships have come out of that, but as a whole, the TGWTG team are True Companions.

However, having a common interest might not be enough to sustain a friendship. Sometimes, that love for a shared interest might be the only thing you might have in common with a person. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the friendship can be hard to maintain when there is only a few common interests. No matter how much you love something, that one thing doesn’t necessarily define your life. I’m not saying that being in a fandom is a bad thing. It just can’t be the only thing.

True friendship comes from shared experiences. The reason why the TGWTG content creators have a strong friendship is because of the times they collaborate together, give each other feedback, and make fun of each other. Another example of friendship from shared experiences is the main cast of How I Met Your Mother. While the show has its flaws, the reason it’s been going on for 9 seasons was because of the strong friendship between Ted, Marshall, Barney, Lily, and Robin. The best example of that was when Marshall and Lily were deciding on who their son Marvin’s godparent would be and they decided on all three of their friends because Lily wanted Marvin to stay in the family no matter what happened to Lily and Marshall. The friendship between the five of them has endured Ted and Robin’s relationship, Barney and Robin’s relationship, and Ted’s neverending quest to find his soul mate. The focus on How I Met Your Mother wasn’t on the various romantic plotlines, but on the strong friendship between these five amazing characters.

Next week, I wrap up this series by going into what “Agape” means and plan out what I’ll be doing in March.