We are constantly bombarded with the virtues of unity, as if finding unity was the solution to all problems in all situations. Today, being one who unites, tolerates, compromises, or seeks unity, is presented as a great compliment. Alternatively, those who are depicted as divisive, intolerant, stubbornly attached to their positions, are presented as arrogant, ignorant fools who bring nothing but trouble. It seems to me that we end up with three levels of unity as a result of this mess, with only one level being the true path to God.
At the first level, many extol unity as a deity and goal unto itself. These people seemingly place unity as a god which will solve all of our problems. Such people ignore God, of course, since who needs a God when unity will transform our lives and efforts from struggles and failures to ease and success. Why oppose, or contradict someone or something if you can find common ground, break bread with, and put aside your differences and avoid hassles altogeher? In theory, of course, this level seems so clean, so disinfected of humanity’s mire. The problem, of course, lies in the fact that everyone seeks unity on his or her terms, and according to his or her agenda. The political candidate who spews litanies of unity is only interested in the unity he seeks. Conversely, those who seek unity for unity’s sake will do anything and everything to achieve that unity, which often includes deception and worse.
At the second level, we find those who pretend that Catholics should seek greater unity with non-Catholics to show that our faith is mature, tolerant, open, flexible, reasonable, etc. Here we find the media’s insidious use of the word “progressive” to distinguish between those Catholics mired in the middle ages and those enlightened by this society’s and this world’s great wisdom. Here we find leading clerics joking with the rich and powerful as a supposed sign of diplomacy and tact. Here we find those who have hijacked the mantle and label of Catholicism while promoting everything but Catholicism in some twisted yet unfortunately effective way of creating the impression that Catholicism is moving toward this world’s views.
At the highest level, we find those who find unity, not because they seek it, not because they somehow see it as expedient, diplomatic, politically correct, or convenient. Rather, here we find those who stumble upon unity as they keep their moral and spiritual gaze upon God and eternal salvation. Unity is not a god; it is not some magic bus that will take us to God; it is certainly not a political, social, economic, moral, or even practical magic bullet that will solve all of our problems, at least not regarding what really matters. Rather, it is mostly the myth that we were placed here to find friends, make everyone happy, avoid issues, or find common ground. It is the lie that there is safety in numbers or that differences always hurt. It is the pretense that Christ came to unite or that God is all about not distinguishing among us. Yes, finding friends, being happy, avoiding problems, and compromising can be good things at times. However, unity leaves the room when it comes to true dedication, service, love, gratitude, and devotion to God and God’s Will. If we have not figured it out yet, being closer to God, following God’s Will, serving others, and loving each other as God wants us to do will more often than not bring us a world of problems, a heap of issues, a pile of pain, and a path of suffering. However, none of these things matter because, as we have often heard in Church, anything that separates us from God while uniting us here on this rock is a dangerous waste of time and a huge threat to our eternal salvation.
At the end of the day, the only unity we should achieve on this earth is coming together in worship, devotion, dedication, and obedience to God.
The next time you hear someone wail on and on about how great unity is, remember that compromising diplomacy, wide-eyed tolerance, and mindless political correctness which offend God is the fasted way to destroying the only unity that matters…..eternal unity with God in Heaven.
Copyright, 2013, Gabriel Garnica All rights reserved.