Monday, July 07, 2003

Ontario and Merton

Amy has blogged about our recent trip to Canada over the weekend. My own experience focused upon the diversity but at the same time the unity. Where here we still seem to be segregated into our subgroups--there it seemed a rather remarkable merging of peoples, as I commented to Amy once during the weekend that this truly seemed to be the "melting pot" that we in the United States often pride ourselves in being.

As I sat listening to music (some of which wasn't all that impressive but truly unique) and watching people, I had an experience similar to that of a trip we made to the zoo when a peacock strutting around shaking with color tried to entice the female into some embrace of unity. The colors and cultures seem to shake about me and invite me to become one with them--this seemed to reach an apex at an early morning Mass when the words from the Eucharistic Prayer seemed to leap out at me "Fill us with his Spirit through our sharing in this meal. May he take away all that divides us. May his Spirit keep us always in communion... Father, make your church throughout the world a sign of unity and instrument of your peace."

It was sort of a Merton experience similar to one he had while waiting at the corner of Fourth and Walnut in Louisville and later wrote:

"In Louisville, on the comer of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I was theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. I have the immense joy of being human, a member of the race in which God himself became incarnate. The sorrows and stupidities of the human condition can no longer overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. If only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun."

Anyway, we have much to learn about Communion and all of the attempts to build community have only thwarted what God wills.