“United we stand, divided we fall.” It’s a phrase that predates our nation but that has been its glue since Patrick Henry uttered it in his final public speech in 1799. Sadly, divided we are fall-ing right now.

We see it among our friends. We see it in our families and in our towns — division.

There long have been political fights, even some of which have been violent: The fatal duel be-tween Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The caning of Charles Sumner on the Senate floor in 1856. There can be no more violent a political fight than the American Civil War. But now is our time. We are responsible for holding the nation together today, not those who came before us.

Why are we divided? Must we be? As a nation, we lack common experiences. We lack ritual. These deficiencies only fuel our divisions. But here’s the beautiful thing. We, as Catholics, have ritual. We have shared experiences. We needn’t be divided.

A wise friend once said that in marriage, “A wife’s heart should be so wrapped up in God that the husband has to look to God to touch it.” Why should this be limited to marriage? Why can’t all of our hearts be so wrapped up in God that we all have to look to God to reach each other? Why must we fight over who’s doing the faith right and who’s doing it wrong?

Instead, we must unify over how we can all use the gifts God has given us to do his work on this Earth and in this country.

If we Catholics cannot unify ourselves — a small segment of the population that is shrouded in ritual and shared beliefs — what hope is there for the country?