Rowan Williams

To find my own life is a task I cannot undertake without the neighbor; life itself is what I find in solidarity, and not only in a sense of togetherness (talking about solidarity can easily turn into no more than this) but in that willingness to put ‘on hold’ the perspective I want to own and cling to and possess, so that something else may happen through my presence and my words–the something else that is the announcing of the gospel…

What if the real criteria for a properly functioning common life, for social existence in its fullness, had to do with this business of connecting each other with life-giving reality, with the possibility of reconciliation or wholeness? What if the deepest threat to life together were standing in the way of another person’s discovery of wholeness by an insistent clinging to self-justification? Our success (if we still want to use that not very helpful word) would be measurable only in the degree to which those around us were discovering a way to truth and life, and since we are not all that likely to know much about this simply on external grounds, we might never know anything at all about success. We’d only know the struggle and weakness out of which we attempted to speak to each other; beyond that, who knows? We could be confident only in God’s unfailing presence with us for forgiveness and in God’s unceasing summons to us act for the reconciliation of others.”


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