08-05-2018 We are Called to "Unity"

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
August 5, 2018 - EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SAFE RELEASE OF LEAH SHARIBU AND OTHERS WHO ARE HELD CAPTIVE BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO RENOUNCE THEIR CHRISTIAN FAITH
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
"“None of us is alone in this world. Each of us is a vital piece of the great mosaic of humanity as a whole.”

St. John Paul II
"WE ARE CALLED TO "UNITY"
Which groups are you included in and which are you excluded from?

We tend to think dualistically, in “either/or” terms rather than in a unitive way of “both/and.” Our language can become both inclusive and exclusive at the same time. For example, if we identify an object only by its color, such as the color “red,” we are, in effect, excluding all other objects that are not “red” in color.

This dualistic way of thinking applies to a number of different ways we tend to identify, classify, or categorize people such as by their gender, age, occupation, education, language, nationality, race, religion, status, financial worth, sexual orientation, and so on. The more detailed the classification system is of a group, the greater the number of people excluded from that group.

We generally become members of those groups whose classifications we identify with and satisfy. Those who are members of the groups one identifies with are generally classified as “us” and all others who are not members of this “us” group are demonized or classified as “them.” Of course, those who are the “them” are also part of their own “us” groups. Each “us” group believes its views and solutions to problems are the only correct ones and those of the “them” groups are not. Hence, with either/or thinking, important issues generally do not get resolved for the common good.

We are called to resolve issues by striving for unity. As Pope Francis has stated:
Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way. Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences! (Oct 31, 2014)
Jesus prays for our unity and that we all may be one in, with, and through God (see Jn 17:20-23). How do we begin to do this? By recognizing our common human dignity that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, that God loves each of us unconditionally, and that we are called to love one another as God loves us. Rather than being limited by “group think,” we individually and communally surrender ourselves to be guided by the life-giving Spirit and bring God’s reign of love, peace, and justice to the world. CST can help guide us.
Reflect on Your Experience
How do you exclude others by your classification of them? 

What can you do to be an agent of unity?

What can you do to engage in “both/and” thinking rather than only "either/or" thinking?

U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults   Catecismo Catolico de Los Estadios Unidos para los Adultos  

Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church    Compendio de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia

Videos

"Thomas Merton - Non-Dualism" (Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM)

"Using Radical Empathy to Get Past 'Us vs. Them' Thinking"

"Are You Open-Minded?" (TEDx Talk)

"Dying of the Dual Self" (Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM)

"Catholic Mindfulness"
Music

"You Have My Surrender"

"Psalm 13"

"God of the Impossible"

"We Are Unity"

Other Resources

"The Dualistic Mind" (Fr. Richard Rohr OFM)

"Non-Dualistic Thinking"

"The Us vs. Them Mentality: How Group Thinking Can Irrationally Divide Us"

Social Services and Other Charitable Resources

Other Resources on Catholic Social Teaching
Reflection
If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at: aff@hrsrcs.org

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