139. Keep an open mind. Don’t get bogged down in your own limited ideas and opinions, but be prepared to change or expand them.
Sometimes change is fearful, and brings up the notion that a person is flighty. But expanding one’s view: this may be more palatable to some people.
The combination of two different ways of thinking can lead to a synthesis that enriches both. The unity that we seek is not uniformity, but a “unity in diversity”, or “reconciled diversity”.
Not only a sum, but a sum greater than individual parts. Uniformity is nearly always poverty when compared to the unity that results from a combination of views.
Fraternal communion is enriched by respect and appreciation for differences within an overall perspective that advances the common good. We need to free ourselves from feeling that we all have to be alike. A certain astuteness is also needed to prevent the appearance of “static” that can interfere with the process of dialogue.
Unity that quashes diversity is bad because it is an obstacle to deeper efforts, namely communication.
Advice for couples that really applies to many of our relationships, even a few of those online companionships that often flame into open warfare:
For example, if hard feelings start to emerge, they should be dealt with sensitively, lest they interrupt the dynamic of dialogue. The ability to say what one is thinking without offending the other person is important. Words should be carefully chosen so as not to offend, especially when discussing difficult issues. Making a point should never involve venting anger and inflicting hurt. A patronizing tone only serves to hurt, ridicule, accuse and offend others. Many disagreements between couples are not about important things. Mostly they are about trivial matters. What alters the mood, however, is the way things are said or the attitude with which they are said.
Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.