“There’s only one way to be able to have the most unity and communion possible among us right here and now, and I for one can see no other. This way coincides with […] us, you and me, all of you and me and all of us together, day by day, in all the situations of our life and in every situation that comes between us, staying anchored in His Word.” (266)
“The Word of God goes beyond the barriers between us and creates communion. […] Nobody can take this away from us. Nobody can prohibit us from doing it. We can never turn back now. This is the essential point where the road opens for us to move on. […] If we live the Word to the extreme and in a spirit of reciprocity so that what you live and what I live are the same Word, both of them His Word, then the unity between us grows […]
We can ask ourselves: But how are we to live in the one Spirit which is the deepest and most intimate reality of God, and the deepest and most intimate reality of me? It’s because of the Spirit whom I seek in you with patient endurance, the gifts of the Spirit that lie in you, a believer and a Christian like me. I question you at great length until I find the Spirit in you. I’m never content myself with compromises saying: ‘Deep down you’re not bad, nor am I. I’m able to find a halfway point where we can meet!’
I don’t even say: ‘I take something of yours and something of mine to come up with a formula that we can both agree on without having to change any fundamentals.’ Rather, I ask myself: ‘Where is the Spirit in you?’ The insistence in my questioning never constrains you, limits you, but it frees you, so that you can offer me the gifts of the Spirit in you. I’m prepared to let myself be interrogated by you to extreme, so that, trusting in the Spirit, I can also offer and give to you my gifts as gifts from God. Giving our gifts to one another, discovering in reciprocity the gifts of the Spirit in one another – this is the only path for the one Spirit.” (265, 266)
(June 15, 1979, From a dialogue with Evangelical Lutheran pastor Lukas Vischer)
Anyone who has been living the spirituality of unity for a long time can never stop and say: Is what the other saying to me appropriate? What isn’t appropriate? In what way is what they are saying compatible with my thinking? And with regard to what isn’t compatible? I try to make myself one with the other person, I try to have the other person as my starting point, not as a way to deny what I affirm with certainty based on Christ, but in the sense that in front of the person, I ask: What light are they trying to convey to me? So, I look at myself from the perspective of that other person. I make myself one with the other, trying to re-read my truth through the light of the other.” (268)
(Extracts from dialogue session during the Ecumenical School in Ottmaring, Germany)
Winfried Hagemann: KLAUS HEMMERLE, innamorato della Parola di Dio (Città Nuova 2013).