OCTAVE OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
Dear friends, starting January 18, our Mother Church will dedicate an octave or 8 days of prayer for the unity of Christians. It is a fabulous occasion for us to pray for this intention which is Jesus’ prayer as well: “that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me (Jn 17:21).”
All baptized persons in Christ are Christians, and as such, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ: Roman Catholics, Traditional Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants and all its denominations, born-again Christians, Bible-based Christians…
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Our Lord wouldn’t be happy if we are divided and in continuous bickering with one another, sadly disrespecting and bashing one another, and on many occasions in a belligerent manner. Is this the appropriate way to bring souls to Christ?
RATHER, WE MUST ALL JOIN TOGETHER IN ORDER TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN PRAYER, HARMONY, SOLIDARITY AND ABOVE ALL, CHARITY, FOR THIS WOULD SHOW THAT WE ARE TRUE DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
we praise you for sending your Son
to be one of us and to save us.
Look upon your people with mercy,
for we are divided in so many ways,
and give us the Spirit of Jesus to make us one in love.
We ask this gift, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(Prayer for Christian Unity)
Below you have the MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS ON THE OCCASION OF THE DAY OF CHRISTIAN UNITY [PHOENIX, 23 MAY 2015], which we could bring to our personal prayer. Have a great week ahead and God bless!
***POPE’S MESSAGE STARTS HERE***
Brothers and sisters, may the peace of Christ be with you.
Forgive me if I speak in Spanish, but my English isn’t good enough for me to express myself properly. I speak in Spanish but, above all, I speak in the language of the heart.
I have the invitation you sent me for this celebration of Christian Unity, this day of reconciliation. And I wish to join you from here. “Father, may we be one so that the world may believe you sent me”. This is the slogan, the theme of the meeting: Christ’s prayer to the Father for the grace of unity.
Today, Saturday May 23rd, from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, I will be with you spiritually and with all my heart. We will search together, we will pray together, for the grace of unity. The unity that is budding among us is that unity which begins under the seal of the one Baptism we have all received. It is the unity we are seeking along a common path. It is the spiritual unity of prayer for one another. It is the unity of our common labour on behalf of our brothers and sisters, and all those who believe in the sovereignty of Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters, division is a wound in the body of the Church of Christ. And we do not want this wound to remain open. Division is the work of the father of lies, the father of discord, who does everything possible to keep us divided.
Together today, I here in Rome and you over there, we will ask our Father to send the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and to give us the grace to be one, “so that the world may believe”. I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps. But there is someone who “knows” that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with (the blood of) martyrdom. He knows that Christians are disciples of Christ: that they are one, that they are brothers! He doesn’t care if they are Evangelicals, or Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics or Apostolic…he doesn’t care! They are Christians. And that blood (of martyrdom) unites. Today, dear brothers and sisters, we are living an “ecumenism of blood”. This must encourage us to do what we are doing today: to pray, to dialogue together, to shorten the distance between us, to strengthen our bonds of brotherhood.
I am convinced it won’t be theologians who bring about unity among us. Theologians help us, the science of the theologians will assist us, but if we hope that theologians will agree with one another, we will reach unity the day after Judgement Day. The Holy Spirit brings about unity. Theologians are helpful, but most helpful is the goodwill of us all who are on this journey with our hearts open to the Holy Spirit!
In all humility, I join you as just another participant on this day of prayer, friendship, closeness and reflection. In the certainty that we have one Lord: Jesus is the Lord. In the certainty that this Lord is alive: Jesus is alive, the Lord lives in each one of us. In the certainty that He has sent the Spirit He promised us so that this “harmony” among all His disciples might be realised.
Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you warmly, with an embrace. I pray for you. I pray with you.
And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Because I need your prayers in order to be faithful to what the Lord wants from my Ministry.
God bless you. May God bless us all.
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