Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Unity Amidst Division: Finding Common Ground/Thomas Merton

In the following letter, Thomas Merton responds to a writer's angst on the inability of Anglicans and Romans to find common ground and harmony among each other. Whether it's Catholicism v. Protestantism...conservative evangelicals v. liberal progressives or any other combination....we are all patches in the same quilt, the Spirit being the thread which weaves us together. We are all one body in Christ and need to learn to work together and find common ground.

Here is Merton's response:

November 24, 1966

...Of course I can understand your being a bit anguished about the obvious fact that there can be little hope of institutional or sacramental union as yet between Anglicans and Romans. Perhaps on the other hand I am too stoical about it, but frankly am not terribly anguished. I am not able to get too involved in the institutional side of any of the efforts now being made as I think, for very many reasons, they are bound to be illusory in large measure. And this kind of thing is for others who know more about it. To me it is enough to be united with people in love and in the Holy Spirit, as I am sure I am, and they are, in spite of the sometimes momentous institutional and doctrinal differences. But where there is a sincere desire for truth and real good will and genuine love, there God Himself will take care of the differences far better than any human or political ingenuity can...
                            ~ Thomas Merton, A Life in Letters, p. 181-182

Below is a song that I heard more than 15 years ago and have never forgotten. It is based on a tragic event which shows what happens when people let doctrinal differences turn to hate and division rather than be united in God's love. I encourage you to take a listen.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you , with the rising of the sun, for delivering us safely into a new day. We praise you for Your compassion, mercy and love. We praise you for Your unending faithfulness.We pray for those close to us and those across the globe that live in fear, that live in places of social and political turmoil stirred by fear, ignorance, division and hatred. That are afraid to walk down their streets. May Your peace cover them like a blanket. God, we ask You to turn hearts that have grown cold and hard like stone into hearts of flesh once again. May mankind start to feel more unity towards one another rather than division. Help us spread your love and peace, help Your children here on earth find unity between eachother so that we may serve those who are needy, those who are suffering, to our fullest and not let our differences get in the way from glorifying Your holy name.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.



  1. Beautiful son and article! It would be a Blessed day if everyone could get along with each other, regardless of their religion or beliefs.

  2. All differences and similarities certainly fall away from inside the spirit. Leaving only the simple unsayable truth behind doctrines, ideas, agendas and appearances. The home of beauty and love.

    thanks for your post.