An often-used word by Christians in relation to their various traditions, churches and fellowships. It is a word I have been pondering since attending a retreat a couple of weeks ago and since reading some of the work of Chiara Lubich.

Hitherto, the word, unity, seemed a somewhat wishy-washy word related to Christian ecumenism. Now it is something much more relevant to my daily life. Set aside religion and take unity to be an attitude of life, whoever and wherever we are.

Unity starts with ourselves. Be content to live each day as best we can. Unity between us and the world around us. Unity we can help foster with our immediate loved one – be it partner in love or our closest friend or companion. We can take our sense of unity into our work place, into our community. Then we come back to our starting point – us and the world in general.

Unity is not compromise. Unity is not seeking to impose ourselves and our belief system on someone else. Unity is not judgemental. Unity is dialogue. Listening to the ‘other’. Unity is humility. Unity is accepting the other person or people being as of value. As vulnerable as we see ourselves and our views and opinions. Our strength is not measured in what we have or have achieved but in the way we respond to others who are different from us. In fact everyone is different from us! Let us strive to bring a sense of unity – acceptance – wherever there is discord, unhappiness, a sense of brokenness.

The shortness of this article prevents me from delving into to how this unity relates to our everyday, in our homes, for example. Suffice it to say that it is for me a liberating view of the world which transcends one’s religion – or lack of it – one’s politics and one’s condition in life.

John Belfield
Kings Lynn Roman Catholics

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