Zita Lee

Diversity, not division for unity

By  Zita Lee, Catholic Register Special
  • February 7, 2014

Editor’s note: this is the third place entry in the annual essay contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor. Zita Lee, a Grade 12 student at Markham, Ont.’s St. Brother André Catholic High School, took third prize.

As time passes, it seems that the different branches of Christianity are straying farther and farther away from one another. The differences between us are mounting and the break separating the churches is growing. As Catholics, it is our responsibility to bridge the gap and unify the followers of Christ. We can only achieve success by working together; conflicts between the different areas of our faith will only hinder our progress. Unity must be attained.

In order to do so, we must focus on the good of each denomination’s teachings. We are all derived from the same Christian faith, so there must be areas of Christ’s teachings on which we agree. Instead of feuding over our disparities, we should focus our attention on the values we share. By doing so, we are directing our energy to the positive, and slowly we are mending the fissure between the divisions that have caused so much pain. We should join each other as brothers and sisters as we live to carry out God’s will.

In addition to focusing on the good of each other’s teachings, we must also be tolerant of the differences. Instead of condemning others for their dissimilar views, we should try and understand where they stand. God created His children with peace and unity in mind; if we are always on the mission to prove ourselves at the cost of putting down others, we are not following His vision. Catholics are expected to be messengers of God and our lives should be devoted to fulfilling His will. We should never let our differences be obstacles to harmony.

Regardless of the branch of Christianity one is a member of, we all share the same central belief: that God is good and mighty, and His will is our mission. At the end of the day, we should put aside our differences and strive for that goal. Together we will be able to journey closer to the Lord through living out His plan for humanity. Diversity is what makes us unique; it should not be a reason for hate and division. The best way to honour God is to work together, as a Christian community, with the common link of the good that God teaches us. Although many details of our faiths may differ, we must focus on living out God’s main teaching of loving one another. By doing so, we discover the key to success.

God’s vision for humanity is to be “united in mind and thought.” Although such a goal will be a difficult task to achieve, it is our moral duty to work towards that objective. As Catholics, we must follow the Bible, which is the Word of the Lord. If unity is His plan, then unity we must achieve. This issue has posed a threat to the Church in the past; we must take this concern into our own hands and join forces to overcome this plague of disunity.