In honor of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Scott Brill from the Institute for Christian Unity compiled these quotes from Pope Francis:
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Vespers: “Christian unity will not be the fruit of subtle theoretical discussions in which each party tries to convince the other of the soundness of their opinions. The Son of Man will come and will find us still arguing. We need to realize that, to plumb the depths of the mystery of God, we need one another, we need to encounter one another and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who harmonizes diversities and overcomes conflicts; to reconcile our differences.”
Colloquium: “There is no unity without conversion. Religious life reminds us that at the center of all search for unity and, therefore, of every ecumenical effort, is first of all conversion of heart, which entails the request and the granting of forgiveness. To a great extent it consists in a conversion of our look itself: to seek to look at one another in God, and to be able to place oneself also in the other’s point of view: here is a twofold challenge linked with the search for unity, whether within the religious communities or between Christians of different traditions.
There is no unity without prayer. Religious life is a school of prayer. The ecumenical commitment responds, in the first place, to the prayer of the Lord Jesus himself, and it is based essentially on prayer. One of the pioneers of ecumenism and great promoter of the Unity Octave, Father Paul Couturier, used an image that illustrates well the bond between ecumenism and religious life: he compared all those who pray for unity, and the ecumenical movement in general, to an “invisible monastery” that gathers Christians of different Churches, of different countries and continents. Dear brothers and sisters, you are the first leaders of this “invisible monastery”: I encourage you to pray for Christian unity and to translate this prayer in your daily attitudes and gestures.
There is no unity without holiness of life. Religious life helps us to be aware of the call addressed to all the baptized: the call to holiness of life, which is the only true path to unity. It is evidenced with incisive words in the Conciliar Decree Unitatis Redintegratio:”May all the faithful remember that, the more they promote, rather live in practice the unity of Christians, the more they will take care to live a life in greater conformity with the Gospel. In fact, the closer their communion is with the Father, with the Word and with the Holy Spirit, the more profoundly and easily they will be able to render mutual fraternity” (n. 7).”
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