Within the very substance of the person are embedded the seeds that give rise to what we call fraternal love. These seeds are relationship ties or bonds. We are born with them. They are present in our blood. They can sometimes be stimulated by historical circumstances but, in general, they are congenital. For our purposes, we will call them affinity.
Affinity is a natural sympathy, which springs forth spontaneously between two persons. It was already there before the two met. It was enough for them to be in one another’s presence to awaken that connective bond. Friendship is nothing but the growth of that preexisting sympathy. It is the unfolding of the underlying harmony present in two people. It is enough to put those empathetic forces in contact, like two poles. How naturally a friendship is born from this!
This affinity is easy to perceive and difficult to describe. In an attempt to express it, people have coined popular terms and sayings: he suits me; he’s not my type. At other times, they will say: I like him and I don ‘t know why; I don ‘t know why, but I don ‘t want to be near that person. As we can see, we are dealing with subjective forces of an emotional nature, rooted deep down in the world of the unconscious. They have neither logical nor rational explanations.
And from that affinity, friendship was born. This “I don ‘t know why”, as people express it, is that keen connection that is born between two persons from the first day they meet, as if by spontaneous generation. Their relationship is marvelous in a thousand different ways. They live together in happy harmony until death, in spite of the fact that their opinions differ in many ways.
Extracted from the book "Come with me" by Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga