This week sees the start of the Octave of prayer for church unity. It has taken us centuries of misunderstandings to reach the point where Christian churches can dare to do that most obvious thing: pray together.Jesus is truly for all. This is not a plea for univeralism. This is a plea and prayer for all people to arise and be drawn to the saving grace of the God who loves people of all nations. Do we dare pray this prayer for unity?
Images like those of John Paul II praying in Canterbury with its Archbishop, or gathering the faith-leaders of the world in Assisi, have taught us so much. When we come close to those of other traditions, and know something of their riches, we can be grateful for the extraordinary fullness of Catholic tradition, and at the same time marvel at the uprightness of Presbyterians, the Friends' passion for peace, the openness of Hindus, the devotion of Moslems.
This is the week when we ask our God to warm our hearts to take in all his children. If the chance arises, it is the week when we should pray with strangers, remembering St Peter's words (Acts 10:34): "The truth I have come to realise is that God does not have favourites, but that anyone of any nationality who does what is right and fears God is acceptable to him."
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Unity (part 4)
This morning Sacred Space introduces the start of the Octave, the prayer for unity. This is from the site, a powerful call to pray for unity of all humanity.