More and more I see a divide in our Church. Liberals vs. conservatives. Religious sisters vs. priests. Lay vs. religious. Justice advocates vs. pro lifers.
All I can say to myself is: I see and value both sides. I just wish we all could agree to live in a common unity within our Church.
Over time, I have noticed more dis-unity in the Church. How our local seminarians only seem to flock with the “habit-ed” religious sisters. How some religious sisters of more liberal orders feel at odds with priests, and evidence that in their remarks. How pro-lifers sometimes can’t see the need for respect for all life including the poor and immigrants. How those advocating for social justice may turn a blind eye to abortion and family morality. The activists that focus too much on the action but not enough on a prayer life and devotion, and the prayerful people who don’t focus enough on action. Lay who can’t identify with religious people. Religious people who don’t understand the lay secular world.
It doesn’t sit well with me to see this lack of peace in our Church. This disunity. This lack of balanced perspectives. This lack of wholeness. I often find myself divided.
I remember my spiritual director telling me that I was like a bridge between the various groups. I saw both sides. I could speak to both types and understand their perspectives. I would argue that she is too and that’s why I like her. She is one of the most balanced Catholics I know.
I think we need more people like that more than ever, who flock with both and who speak the language of both. Uniters. Not dividers. People who draw the many sects of our Church together and unite us in one common faith. People who are balanced in faith and action, in justice and morality. People who reverence our faith tradition and see its beauty, but who can find God in all things and places.
Because if we can’t show unity inside our faith, how can we model and preach that for the world?