We continue our discussion of the spirituality of communion with the seventh point—unity. This point and the sixth previous points can be found in Called to be community: a guide to living a spirituality of communion, which is a publication of Living City of the Focolare Movement.
On the night before he was betrayed, our Lord prayed “that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you” (cf. Jn 17:21a). Unity is a priceless gift. It is a feeling of God’s presence among us and within us—God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and who dwells in an eternal communion of love. Since unity is a gift, it not something we can achieve on our own. Still, we can and should earnestly pray for that gift to be bestowed upon the world. We can also show our desire for that gift by loving our neighbor as ourselves—not just our neighbor who is our friend, but also our neighbor who is our enemy. Loving our enemy can be one of the hardest things to do in life. Still, one small step you can take is to refuse to burn bridges with your enemy. That may seem like letting an opportunity for revenge go by or taking a chance with your life, but you may need that bridge in the future. Then you will wish you had it.
When I was serving in the U.S. Army, a lot of backbiting went on in my unit. Things got so bad at times, I heard people say if it came to a time of war the first person they were going to “take out” was so-and-so in the unit. Well, our unit was deployed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in September 1991 after the Gulf War. We were nevertheless considered to be in a combat zone. When we arrived in Riyadh, all of the backbiting went away overnight, and we hummed like a new car. We knew our lives depended on each other. It was a marvelous sign of unity.
Name a time when you experienced unity with others. How did it feel? Share your experience with someone else.