"Every external act of ones friend seems to the other insufficient because, knowing the friends soul, he sees how every action fails to conform to the inner greatness of his friends soul. As for heroes, some are amazed by them, others ignore them; some are carried away by them, others hate them. But a friend is never amazed by his friend and is never indifferent to him. He is not fascinated by him and does not ignore him. He loves, and for love precisely this soul, uniquely this beloved soul, is infinitely dear and priceless, outweighs the whole world with all its temptations. For friendship love knows a friend not by his outward pose, not by the dress of heroism, but by his smile, by his quiet talk, by his weaknesses, by how he treats people ordinary human life, by how he eats and sleeps."
Passage taken from Pavel Florensky, The Pillar and the Ground of Truth, trans., Boris Jakim, New Jersey, Princeton-1997, p313.