"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day 6 of the Church Unity Octave

On the right is a photo from November 9, 1989. East Germans are scrambling to get over the Berlin Wall; West Germans are reaching over to help them. I remember that day. From the time of the construction of the wall, at least 125 persons had been killed by East German guards while trying to cross it. That is part of what made it so incredible and moving to see hundreds of people climbing over the wall.

Soon the hammers were flying.

Even pieces of the wall were used against it.

The walls that separate Christians from each other are not made of concrete. They are composed of mistrust, ignorance, confusion, misconception, misunderstanding, bitterness, pride, apathy, cowardice, impatience and coldness. These walls come down only by means of love, prayer, humility, forgiveness, listening, patience, hope, faith, courage, study, trust, receptivity and friendship. If faith can move mountains, then surely it can break down these walls. If God is love, and we are the people of God, then surely we too will pick up our hammers and begin to tear down the walls that divide us. Do we believe that God is able to do this, through us, in our time? If so, then let us tie ourselves in love to the table of ecumenical dialogue, and cast ourselves in prayer before the throne of heaven. The truth is both found and communicated in love; love both seeks and gives the truth.

Lord Jesus, we ask You to help us break down the walls that divide us. Nothing is impossible for You. Without You, we can do nothing. But only say the word, and it shall be done. Please reconcile us with each other, that we may be truly one, in the peace and unity of Your Kingdom. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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