Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, quoted Newman in a talk given to teachers in his diocese, "reprinted" in Crisis Magazine:
My spiritual patron, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, said that friendship is a school of love, a school of Christian charity. He thought that human friendship teaches us, in a particular way, how to exercise universal charity.
Newman wrote that “the best preparation for loving the world at large, and loving it duly and wisely, is to cultivate an intimate friendship and affection towards those who are immediately about us.”
Friendship is a “school of Christian charity” because friendship makes demands upon us. Our friends are those who are most close to us, who share a vision, and a mission. Our friends are collaborators in the great work—the magnum opus—of our lives. But our friends, like us, are human beings. And relationships with human beings require forgiveness, forbearance, patience, and understanding. We learn those virtues by loving our friends. Newman says that
The real love of man must depend on practice, and therefore, must begin by exercising itself on our friends around us, otherwise it will have no existence. By trying to love our relations and friends, by submitting to their wishes, though contrary to our own, by bearing with their infirmities, by overcoming their occasional waywardness by kindness, by dwelling on their excellences, and trying to copy them, thus it is that we form in our hearts that root of charity, which, though small at first, may, like the mustard seed, at last even overshadow the earth.
Bishop Conley is quoting from Newman's Parochial and Plain Sermon "Love of Relations and Friends", based upon the verse from the First Letter of St. John: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God." (4:7). Blessed John Henry Newman goes to demonstrate how observing the old adage that "charity (love) begins at home" has an influence on how we respond in charity (love) to our neighbor and even those we don't know but want to help:
That reminded me of the goals of Blessed Frederic Ozanam and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul: not organized, systematic philanthropy, but personal, immediate charity from one Christian to another.
The first coat of arms at the top is Bishop Conley's, the second is Cardinal Newman's.