“And over all these
virtues put on love,
which binds them
in perfect unity.”
— Colossians 3:14
1) The plan from the beginning
- Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning” (Unitatis Redintegratio 4)
- Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her.
- This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: “That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us,… so that the world may know that you have sent me.” John 17:21
2) Division in the Body of Christ
- contradicts the will of Christ
- scandalizes the world
- damages the cause of preaching the Gospel
3) A call of the Holy Spirit
- The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit (CCC 820)
Certain things are required in order to respond adequately to this call: (CCC 821)
- a permanent renewal of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation
- conversion of heart as the faithful ‘try to live holier lives according to the Gospel’
- prayer in common, because ‘change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement…’
- fraternal knowledge of each other
- ecumenical formation of the faithful and especially of priests
- dialogue among theologians and meetings among Christians of the different churches and communities
- collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind
PRAYER: Ask for the grace to forgive those who have spoken uncharitably towards you regarding unity.
ACTION: Examine yourself and the ways you have sinned against unity and bring it to the sacrament of confession.
The theme 'Developing an Evangelical Heart' was inspired by the Companions of the Cross course on Evangelization.