Monday, August 18, 2014

That They May All be One

Ever since I was a child, I had a deep longing for something that it seemed I could never have.  The object of this longing was an identical twin brother.  But not just any twin, one of those twins who is so close to his brother that they can almost read each other's thoughts.  You know the kind; you've probably seen those documentaries or news reports where the two twins are so very close that they almost seem to have a psychic link.  That's because when two people are that profoundly identical, in a way they are one flesh, where normally only spouses can have that sort of union.  Two twins like that--and it's probably rare even among identical twins--experience the world through what is essentially the same exact body and, in the more extreme cases, even their brains and thoughts are similar.

That's what I wanted.  I wanted to know what it was like to be "one flesh" with a brother.  I wouldn't be surprised if this longing is part of what has been channeled into my same-sex attractions, in a misguided attempt to become one with another man the way that I would have been, by birth, one with a twin brother.  Of course I couldn't really achieve that with a man through sex; I believe sexual activity between two men only ultimately pushes them farther apart, rather than binding them together.  But the point is that I think it's that sort of unity with a man that I've been seeking.  Just as with twins, it isn't the same kind of union as with a spouse, and therefore it's not in competition with the spousal relationship (nothing and no one could compete with the beautiful union I have with my wife, and I would never want to replace that), but it's a oneness that would be parallel to that sort of union.  

Of course, I can't have a twin.  Alas, when I was but a wee fertilized egg, I didn't split, and that's that.  No second chances.

Like this, but we wouldn't be "fried" together.  Say no to drugs, and all that. 

Is there a way to have this sort of union on this Earth, despite not having such a twin?  Is there a way to have it with some man I know and love, be he literal brother or a close friend?  I don't know.  I know I love my brothers and my best friends enough for it.  But can we ever be "as one?"  Because, contrary to what some may think, that's what this is about.  It's not about having a "clone" of myself because I'm so great and want someone who's just like me.  It's about wanting to be "as one" with people.  I have a deep desire for unity beyond imagining.  Sometimes I even feel this toward strangers.  I have an aching desire to unite, to be one with my brethren.

The good news is, whether or not we can have this on Earth, we will have it one day.  See, around 2000 years ago, a certain God-Man named Jesus (perhaps you've heard of Him) prayed that all of His followers may be one.  In John 18: 21, He prayed, "so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they may also be in us."  In just one sentence, this gives us a beautiful glimpse at what Heaven will be like.  Unity.  Perfect, unimaginable unity.  I believe that, in Heaven we will all of us, in some mysterious way, be "one flesh" and have a profound unity of spirit.  After all, the unity between the Father and the Son is so real that some early Christians mistakenly thought there was no distinction between them!  So if we are to be "one" in a way approaching the oneness of the Son and the Father, then this unity is going to be profound and real.  It's not just symbolic.

It seems to me that, in Heaven, we'll all have the sort of connection with each other that on Earth most readily exists between spouses or the sorts of twins I mentioned.  We will share in each other's experiences.  We'll know "what it's like" to be each other.  And this unity is actually going to be much richer than even the most profound unions on this side of eternity.  Because rather than having to be born out of similarities or (in the case of spouses) compatibility, it will transcend differences.  We will each continue to have our own personalities in Heaven, and there will be differences and variety there, but at the same time we will be so much "as one" that I think each soul will know what it is to be every other soul, and vice versa.  

Warning, paradox coming up!  Hurry, look at this infinitely more sensible abstract picture!

I was once asked, by someone who craved unity as much as I do, "Is there a place where two souls can exist in the same space?"  And I answered him "Yes, in Heaven."  Because that's the place where somehow space will not be an insurmountable wall, where despite having distinct bodies (after the Resurrection) and distinct souls we will find that there are no  more barriers, no more boundaries, that separate us from one another.  Our oneness will be similar to the oneness of the Holy Trinity:  Just as God is "One God in Three Persons" so too will we all be "One humanity in a multitude of persons."  Just as with God, the persons will be distinct.  But just as with God, the oneness will be real.  

And I, for one, look forward to it.  I will not cease to seek greater unity with my brethren on Earth where it can be found, but I will seek assurance in the hope that, whether I succeed or fail, one day I'll live the dream that even Jesus dreamed.  Alleluia!


  1. (Originally posted on 2014/08/22 at 9:53 pm by Unknown)

    "This is exactly what I desire to share with all humanity. Strangely, I am sort of a misanthrope. I very much like being alone sometimes. However, this isn't entirely true, because when I am alone, I find myself longing to have someone there. Then when someone is there, I find myself longing to go off away by myself. I think the only way I can form coherence out of the two seemingly opposed feelings is that I desire true unity.
    Its as if, when I am alone, I imagine being unified with someone. I then feel lonely and go off to be with people. Then, after I am with them for a time, I am painfully reminded just how divided we are on matters of absolute truth. So I then want to go back into myself, or the Bible, or the Catechism, or wherever there is that unifying absolutely truth.
    I look at the Church as the great earthly unifying force preparing the way for the kingdom of God. It is the place holder in the fallen world where all those beaten down by the world seeking truth and unity stagger up its stairs to enter.
    We are the family of God. We are the Church Militant on earth, and then there are the Church Triumphant in Heaven awaiting us. We are still connected, but we here on earth desire that ultimate connection in Heaven. At least I do.
    I think of the warrior saints like Joan of Arc, and then there are the non violent peaceful saints like St. Francis. Both are different, but one would not condemn the other. They are unified under truth. We all have our unique ways and gifts from God. I appreciate that. I love that. I love that I am unique. But that which is different and unique is still to be unified.
    Man and woman are perfect examples. Both are unique and different. But in the sexual act, they are unified. They are one. I believe this is the same in unity in Christ among all of us in the Church. This is the same unity, when Christ will return to us and marry us. We take on the feminine Church, and Christ is our husband, and we will all be one in Him.
    I think in awe about that. I sit in awe about how beautiful and logically it all fits when we examine are longing for unity, our recognition of differences, and how it all fits together inside Christ and His truth. We see those signs in gender, in nature, and even in our own creations, such as the common zipper or the screwdriver and the screw.
    Lies and sin are not differences or unique. Those are the things that are the great dividers that keep us from that unity under in Christ.
    But it is those other things. Those simple things and sometimes those complex things that all fit together. The man who loves to drive will meet the passenger who likes to ride. The woman who likes to weave blankets will meet the other who likes to be warm. The peaceful innocent man who wishes to spread peace will be defended by the soldier who wants to see that peace realized.
    I want us all to unify under that goodness in Christ in complete conformity to him. We will then see how we fit like a zipper zipping up. We will no longer have to fear that the other doesn't or won't understand us, because they will and we will understand them. We will all know and love the truth and each other. We will have complete understanding of not just Christ, but each other as we will all exist in Him.
    One Bread, One Body, One Lord of all. One day we get our wish! God willing!"

    1. (Originally posted on 2014/08/23 at 12:34 am by myself)
      "Beautiful comment! Thank you!"