"We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.
— Thomas Merton in Thomas Merton: Essential Writings edited by Christine Bochen
In his provoking portrait Yeshua of Nazareth: Spiritual Master, Richard W. Chilson, an author and Paulist priest, offers this passage on the spiritual practice of unity:
"I remember an embarrassing incident that brought to mind that the 'enemy' is my brother. I was driving home on the freeway and as I approached my exit a car dawdled in front of me. Too late to pass him; I was stuck following: as usual I was in a hurry. That driver inspired in me a whole slew of invectives. Spewing epithets I pulled up alongside at the stoplight by the exit. I looked over only to discover a dear friend. Instantly the situation changed although I had not done anything public to express my rage, I felt ashamed and guilty. How could I think these things about him? I had seen him as an obstacle, not a brother. It is the same with the other no matter the situation, from the person ahead of us in line, to our age-old enemy. Whoever it is, they have the same concerns, fears, gifts, and shortcomings we all do. Just another human being trying to do their best, a fellow sufferer of life, a brother or sister at heart, at least in the heart of God."
What blocks or obstacles most often keep you from feeling that you are one with others?
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"Only when we have the courage to cross the road and look in one another's eyes can we see there that we are children of the same God and members of the same human family."
— Henri J. M. Nouwen in Bread for the Journey