My husband and I were talking the other day about different faiths. I firmly believe that our duty as Christians is not to make everyone a Catholic, but to open discussions with each other to the point that we can agree and respectfully disagree, but appreciate the other without disdain. How can we open up communication with each other without getting angry and prejudiced?
Take my husband, for example, we will be married 23 years next month and for all this time, he has remained a non-Catholic, willing to attend Mass, pay for Catholic curriculum (we homeschooled for several years), paid Catholic school tuitions, attended sacrament celebrations, learned our prayers, and basically supported me and my faith all these years without complaint! Even to the point of driving us to Mass in the middle of a snowstorm, since I was determined to attend Sunday Mass that day.
How ecumenical can one get?
So if a husband and wife, raising kids can do this, why can't complete strangers do this? It's not like they have anything at stake with each other...like kids, a home to share, and traditions to create. It's more like just understanding that we are different, see things and relate to things differently. Throughout the years, my husband has grown in his spirituality, no he isn't a "Jesus freak" or a 'church guy' but he does see God and Our Lord in a different and more serious way. He reads the Word with me in the morning and follows the "blue", "white" and "black" books during advent, Lent and Easter. I have learned to accept him where he is and love him there. Appreciating his growth and my own growth, too.
During this week, I have prayed that we as citizens of this good earth would learn to value each other where we are and learn from each other. If Christian unity could look like anything, I'd like it to look like this.
May we all look toward God, from where ever we are, together, holding each other's hand in love and understanding.