Office for Christian Unity,
Thursday, May 18, 2023
The Spirit and the Church (2)
A contemporary once wrote: “One must respect the silence of God. When I was very young, I could not bear my side of the silence. So I spoke in God’s place. I would talk to myself inwardly and pretend that it was God who was talking to me.” So, more often than we think, our little pride is at work with its constant chatter. That’s why God arranges for us to go through the desert. But we still need to know why God leads us there, why the Spirit drives us there with all his strength. It is in order to be able to be recognized by a person’s freedom. That is all. And that’s all, because the whole meaning of the Church depends on this encounter. For, outside of this encounter between God and the freedom of a person and of the people, the Church has no meaning. And if we do not want the Church to be a power that imposes a language on us in the name of God, we must return to the source, which is the gift of the Spirit that the Church itself has always recognized.
The desert is also the possibility for the option of faith and of hope, to manifest itself. And the basis of human hope can only truly be found in the possibility of choosing the power of love. How can we discern what is true, what we can trust? The powers and authorities impose their language by saying: “Your hope, your happiness depend on us. Take them objectively and leave aside your subjectivity. It does not interest us!”
Thus appears the link that unites the Spirit and the Church. The Church recognizes that it is constantly dependent on the gift of the Spirit. It is not, therefore, the owner of the truth. The relationship between the Spirit and the Church is primarily and solely a relationship of love.
Pierre Ganne, Le Don de l’Esprit : leçons sur l’Esprit Saint
(The Gift of the Spirit: Lessons on the Holy Spirit) (Le Centurion) 1984, pp 104-105.
Prepared by the brothers and sisters in the United Kingdom
To be used as appropriate
1/ For the first time in English history, leaders of different churches were present and invited to pray together for the King at his coronation.
Lord, we ask you to continue this work of unity among the churches in the UK and to bless King Charles III in his service.
2/. After the Lambeth Conference which took place in July/August 2022 the Anglican Communion is still facing challenges of division, especially concerning the blessing of same-sex couples.
Lord, we ask you to renew the desire for dialogue, the desire to walk together through all the challenges of our world for the Anglican Communion.
3/ Lord, we thank you for the existence of the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace, we thank you for all you have given throughout these past years. We ask you to bless those who will join the Community next year, and inspire the leaders of the Community of St Anselm as they face financial challenges.