October Virtue: Friendship Sharing a mutual love that seeks the good of the other.
What is the difference between "fair-weather friends", "friends-for-a-time", and someone who is truly a "friend forever"? There are three types of friendship: friendship of utility, friendship of pleasure, and friendship of virtue. The last is the strongest and longest-lasting, and it often starts out as one of the other two kinds.
Friendships based on utility or pleasure just happen according to circumstances and, unless they grow into friendships of virtue, they usually end when circumstances change. You might be friends with someone because he is the only other person your age on your street that can play with you (pleasure), because she is a great study-buddy for Science (utility), or because you two have the most in common in the class, and so you choose each other for activity partners or for someone to hang out with at recess (utility and/or pleasure).
Friendship of virtue is much more rare and valuable. This kind of friend loves you for who you are, not for what he/she gets out of the friendship, and wants what is best for you. True friends are willing to risk their own popularity if it will do you no good. Ultimately, they want you to get to heaven, and will be honest with you about things you need to work on to grow closer to God.
Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, Nashville, TN