Unity helps us learn to respect differences and celebrate diversity. It is about realizing that when one person gains we all gain, and when one suffers, we all suffer. It is about affirming commonalities. Unity requires good judgment, flexibility and respect. We have seen division and disunity undermining attempts at achieving unity or agreement for the common good. Unity is not about blind adherence to political or religious opinions. To be united means to live in harmony with other people. It means working for a common cause within our nation or community. Unity does not see every decision set in the rock of ideology. Without a spirit of seeking unity there is little hope for compassion, justice, or peace.
That all may be one.
What simple day to day actions will help us build unity in our sphere of relationships and beyond?
God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel and said “they shall be one in my hand…They will be my people and I shall be their God”.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.
Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way. Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one… It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister.
One of the main tasks of theology is to find words that do not divide but unite, that do not create conflict but unity, that do not hurt but heal.
We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.
We have the ability to achieve, if we master the necessary goodwill, a common global society blessed with a shared culture of peace that is nourished by the ethnic, national and local diversities that enrich our lives.
When you’re finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people?
Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is.
Hans Urs von Balthasar
The wise man belongs to all countries, for the home of a great soul is the whole world
Look out into the universe and contemplate the glory of God. Observe the stars, millions of them, twinkling in the night sky, all with a message of unity, part of the very nature of God.
You don’t get unity by ignoring the questions that have to be faced.
Nourished by prayer, supported by community and energized by ministry, we live and work to bring all into union with God and one another.
Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY