Office for Christian Unity
Thursday 16 November 2023
The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God’s love
There is only one place where the Holy Spirit withdraws, where he is deafened: it is the places where we are proud and disobedient. The Holy Spirit never settles with pride and disobedience! The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God’s love, and love means giving yourself completely. The Holy Spirit will always make sure you give yourself completely, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength; and that you always ask, like a child: “Lord, what now? Here I am, your child, continue (your work); I still want to be completely filled, completely satiated, completely quenched; I want to burn with this love”.
Throughout our history in the Christian West, we have left our own very particular footprints, by which we have left little room for the Holy Spirit, where we have always set limits for him, where we have enclosed him, where he could only work in our Churches according to the rules, where we have kept him on a tight rein and controlled him right down to the liturgical formula. That is why we should not be surprised if there is often a distance to be covered before our spirit, soul and body can fully accept this accomplishment of the Holy Spirit.Our hearts are often like a battlefield with many, many obstacles. There are also many fears, so that it often takes some time before the Holy Spirit can reach the very centre of our being and we can enter fully into this childlike state. But the Holy Spirit is ready! This love of God triumphs over everything.
But every step we take – perhaps simply raising our hands to pray or kneeling down to pray – God will answer again. God says: “If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will I give you the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). I want to envelop you and love you with this tenderness and this strength, and I want to kindle in you this fullness of life”.
A text taken from the book , “Père, un regard dans le cœur de Dieu” by Geri Keller, pages 126-127.
Prepared by our brothers and sisters from Switzerland
To be adapted according to your location
Switzerland is a federal country rich in diversity: diversity of languages, Christian denominations, political convictions… It is a challenge to live in unity without lapsing into indifference under the pretext of respect for others.
Lord, we thank you for all the initiatives of collaboration and encounters that you sow. In particular, we entrust to you the sessions and places where the Chemin Neuf Community is in alliance with others and which are crossed by these challenges of unity: the Metanoïa festival, the link to the couples and youth ministry in Fribourg, the Evangelical Church in Lucerne… May your Spirit continue to foster unity in the heart of the Swiss people.
Lord, we thank you for “Jesus Celebration 2033” and the initiative of the Decade of the Resurrection 2023-2033, which has got off to a good start and in which we are moving towards 2033, the year of the 2000th anniversary of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We pray that all Christians and all Christian Churches will set out on a journey and come together to give a witness of communion to the world, and that they will commit themselves to greater justice and peace.
Nicolas de Flüe and his wife Dorothée were peacemakers in Switzerland in the 15th century. They defended the conviction that the terrible conflicts that are tearing the world apart are the consequences of a general lack of inner life.
Lord, we entrust to you our art project that is being carried out at the Bethanien monastery: “Niklaus & Dorothee Alive”, whose central theme is: “From war to lasting peace”. Come and lead all things. May this immersive exhibition, which combines culture, history and spirituality, soon touch the hearts of the men and women of our time.
Lord, we entrust to you all the places of conflict and war in the world: send your Holy Spirit, your Spirit of Wisdom and Peace, Spirit of Love and Truth to all the leaders and decision-makers in our world. Give them the freedom to act in accordance with your will