Have you ever known someone who knew you inside out; to whom you were utterly transparent? That person could be your soul friend. Have you ever known someone who looked at you and saw what you could become? That person could be your soul friend. Have you ever known someone whose hunger for knowing God matched your own? That person could be your soul friend.
A soul friend is not any one of these relationships, but all of them rolled into one. Needless to say, the soul friend relationship is fairly rare in our culture. But although rare, it is not impossible to find such a friendship because we often simply do not recognize it in the relationships we already have.
For the members of the Community of Aidan and Hilda, the soul friend has these characteristics:
- A Christian who is serious about being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
- A Christian who is open to all the things of God, even those which do not fit their own tradition or experience.
- A friend who knows all about you and loves you anyway.
- A friend who sees the best in you and is never satisfied with less, yet still accepts you as you are.
- A person who is familiar with your intention to live by a personal Way of Life and appreciates its value, even when they do not feel a personal call themselves.
How important is it to have a soul friend in your life? To quote St Brigid, “Anyone without a soul friend is like a body without a head!” To remain wholesome and balanced, we need to remain truthful to our complexity – and our vulnerability. Soul friendship is the “sweet grace that liberates us to approach, recognize, and inhabit this adventure” called life.