Office for Christian Unity,
Thursday, November 17th, 2022
The new paradise
Praise be to you, O Christ, Bridegroom of the bride,
through you, praise to the Holy Trinity
because you are the creator of the world,
You are its salvation, and the one who restores it.
By the power of the Spirit
you mark with a seal the heart
of the angel and of Man.
What the Father willed, through you, in the Spirit, He has done.
Like an artist, he has taken care of his work.
You, You distinguish Yourself from created and formed things.
But, You too, paint with unique strokes.
You give to particular things the reflection of your face.
You, the only son begotten of the Father’s heart
you have deigned to have us as brothers and sisters.
And the human heart that participates in the divine light
is no longer wounded by darkness.
As the branches are attached to the vine,
As the members are attached to the head,
so do you bind to yourself the Body of the Church.
That which is despicable, that which is weakened,
You give life to it by the Spirit, You purify it by faith.
Flower of the branch of Jesse, as you yourself were anointed
in your turn, you anoint this Church.
With the same anointing that the dove brought to Noah at the Jordan,
O Christ, Peace of the heart of the world,
our mercy, the Needy,
the Afflicted, the Gentle, the Poor,
You forgive us our sins […]
You the bread, give us the kingdom of the Father.
“Gottschalk of Limburg, a monk and poet of the 11th century, is known for the richness of his liturgical hymns, which combine biblical images with dogmatic content. These few verses make us meditate on the way Christ works in his Church just as he worked in the creation of the world. [Thus, the Church that allows itself to be worked by Christ is called to become the new paradise.”]
English translation: copyright ccn
Prepared by our brothers and sisters in Rome
To be used as appropriate
1 / The international preparatory group for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity met in Rome from 25 to 29 September 2022 in conjunction with the World Council of Churches and the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity.
Lord, we pray that our churches, by embracing the resources of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18-25 January each year), may continue to work ecumenically according to the will of Christ “that all may be one”.
2/ On October 27, the group ‘John 17’, made up of evangelical, orthodox and Catholic pastors and priests, met with Pope Francis for several hours to exchange, share and pray together.
Lord, we thank you for all these places of dialogue that we can experience between Christians; may they be authentic places of fellowship. Come also to create such places where they are lacking.
3/ This academic year, a new degree in theology with an ecumenical orientation was established at the Pontifical Gregorian University. The students and teachers involved are from various denominations.
Lord, we pray that this initiative may be a source of blessing for them and our churches.
4/ Lord, at this time when we see fascism re-emerging and our Jewish brothers and sisters becoming victims of increasingly frequent and violent anti-Semitic acts or measures, we ask you for a spirit of peace but also of courage and truth to denounce and resist these attitudes.
We pray for all those involved in the dialogue between Jews and Christians, especially the professors and students of the Bea Centre of the Gregorian University in Rome, whose mission is to educate in the knowledge of Judaism and in dialogue between Jews and Christians.