Brethren... How do each of you contemplate the mystery of human friendship, as opposed to the brotherhood we are to show to everyone as Christians, and as humans? I think there are four levels of human relationship: brotherhood, friendship, divine brotherhood, and divine friendship. I take this from a thread of mine several months ago on a Catholic site, hoping it can influence beloved Anglicans to see friendship and brotherhood in a refreshed way... Brotherhood is the natural instinct of each to see him/herself in the other. Brotherhood cringes when it sees a man take a hit to his private bits, and shivers when it perceives the death of a woman. Brotherhood consists of the Golden Rule. Every culture has at least had an idea of it. It is the basic relation God gives us all! Divine Brotherhood is the supernatural relation given at baptism, though it must be lived and practised constantly. Divine Brotherhood sees the Lord in all others, though it sees Him more perfectly in the illumined (baptised). Every Christian should have at least an idea of this brotherhood, because here is the font of charity and love. It is the basic relation of the baptised to all. Friendship is a special relation between two persons. While brotherhood is a gift from God to all, and divine brotherhood is a gift from God to those who are given faith, friendship is the relation between two who have chosen the other specifically. This friendship need not be between believers, and may be mere Brotherhood, made specific. If secular friendship is mixed with divine brotherhood, it is for the sanctity of both you and your friend, though it is mostly based on mutual interests. Divine Friendship is the greatest relation that can exist between two individual persons. It is chosen freely on both sides, and can only exist where a sense of divine brotherhood is strong. Divine friendship sees not only Christ in another, nor only trusts him as a friend, but so loves his friend and is so loved by his friend that each person almost disappears, and only Christ is visible. This friendship is the highest, most intimate, most trusting friendship, and it can be given from any Christian to the vilest of creatures, for it is a choice of the will, not a mere happenstance of likes and dislikes, or feelings. You could be a street-walker, murderer, beggar, or rich - but divine friendship is an act of the will from me to you, for the purpose of increasing your sanctity, but also so serve you completely: to be an aid that brings you to Heaven, because I love you. If I may be so bold, true divine friendship is the divine love of Christ in human beings, and is the most difficult to sustain due to sin. Any contributes or thoughts are welcome.