If I can unite in myself the thought and devotion of Eastern and Western Christendom, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russians and the Spanish mystics, I can prepare in myself the reunion of divided Christians.  From the secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come a visible and manifest unity of all Christians.  If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other or absorbing one division into the other.  But if we do this, the union is not Christian.  It is political, and doomed to further conflict.  We must contain all divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ.


Consider the basic reality of this reflection.  The work is performed within self.  One can not make another be what they are not nor can one make another not be what they are.  It must all be developed within the individual by the individual according to their own basic nature as a created child of God.  As Children of God, we are a unity that originated in the Infinite Unity and there can be only ONE origin of all that constitutes all of reality -- transient or eternal -- visible or invisible.
Thomas Merton on the Ecumenical Soul
from Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander  [Image/Doubleday/NY/1966]