But I was not becoming a Christian; I already was one. I was entering a new tradition, but the Roman Catholic church recognized my baptism and therefore recognized that, although I did not previously eat at the same Eucharist table as my Catholic sisters and brothers we were united in our shared experience of the indwelling Spirit given in baptism. It is this union through the Spirit that we celebrate on Pentecost, and it is for this reason that I asked to be received on this feast.
If I do not have unity in myself, how can i even think, let alone speak, of unity among Christians? Yet, of course, in seeking unity for all Christians, I also attain unity within myself.
The heresy of individualism: thinking oneself a completely self-sufficient unity and asserting this imaginary 'unity' against all others. The affirmation of the self as simply 'not the other.' But when you seek to affirm your unity by denying that you have anything to do with anyone else, by negating everyone else in the universe until you come down to you: what is there left to affirm? Even if there were something to affirm, you would have no breath left with which to affirm it.
The true way is just the opposite: the more I am able to affirm others, to say 'yes' to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am. I am fully real if my own heart says yes to everyone.
I will be a better Catholic, not if I can refute every shade of Protestantism, but if I can affirm the truth in it and still go further.
So, too, with the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, etc. This does not mean syncretism, indifferentism, the vapid and careless friendliness that accepts everything by thinking of nothing. There is much that once cannot 'affirm' and 'accept,' but first one must say 'yes' where one really can.
If I can affirm myself as a Catholic merely by denying all that is Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., in the end I will find that there is not much left for me to affirm as a Catholic: and certainly no breath of the Spirit with which to affirm it (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, 140-141).