I stayed up late last night to watch our President give his 5th State of the Union address and to listen to the Republican response. And then I could not get to sleep! Questions kept coming to me: What are the “great divides” in our hearts? our lives? Whether or not we gift ourselves with labels of Democrat, Republican, Green Party, Independent, Libertarian or who knows what, how willing are we to reach a hand “across the aisle” of our “great divides?” What might it look like for our nation if we could do just that? Maybe even on a smaller level, if we experience strife in family, community, cities, states … what might it look like if we all made a mighty effort — meaning, listening to the other, maybe setting aside some of the ego-self — to search together for the common good? Many of the Saints might call that honest discernment. It takes some looking at the “state of our own union” … the “state of the heart.” Perhaps that’s where we all need to start: a good look at the State of the Heart. Maybe, just maybe … just maybe? … it could lead to “a more perfect Union.” Think on it. Let’s begin today by listening to one we might otherwise dismiss. Let’s begin today by reaching out in a handshake of peace and welcome to the one we label as “the other.” Let’s begin today to work toward “a more perfect Union.” Yes, God bless the United States of America!