Office for Christian Unity,
Thursday, June 9, 2023
Love of unity
“Suppress envy, and what I have is yours, let me suppress envy, and what you have is mine. […] We therefore have the Holy Spirit if we love the Church; we love the Church if we are established in her unity and her charity. For, after having enumerated these different gifts which are granted to different men as the functions of each of the members, the same Apostle adds: “I am going to show you a supreme way” (1 Cor 12:31) and he begins to speak of charity. He places it above the gift of speaking in tongues of men and angels, he places it above the miracles of faith, he even places it above that great work of mercy which consists in distributing to the poor the goods one possesses, and, to finish, he even goes so far as to place it above the martyrdom of the body; above all these great gifts he places charity. Have charity and you will have everything, because, without it, all that you could have will be of no use to you.”
Extract from: Homily on the Gospel of Saint John, by St. Augustine
In union with our brothers and sisters of the Community in Nancy and Strasbourg and in the deep desire for Unity between our Churches, we turn to You, Lord, and we pray to You.
To be used as appropriate
1/ At the beginning of the Renewal, the Lord called us to Unity: “Let them be One so that the world may believe”. In 1982 the first charismatic gathering of the Churches of Europe took place in Strasbourg and we prayed and evangelized together. This desire for unity continues to live in Alsace, among others through the FORA (Ecumenical Fraternity of Alsace Renewal) which prays and organizes regular meetings and offers training.
We lost that early momentum; Lord, come and renew this desire for Unity in all the local ecumenical initiatives at the heart of our daily life; give us the ability to know how to break the ice that may exist between us, by the sun of your Love and by being receptive to the intuitions that you give us.
2/. While in the Northern Hemisphere, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated from January 18 to 25, in the Southern Hemisphere, where January is a summer vacation period, this week is offered around Pentecost.
Let us pray for unity with the churches in the southern hemisphere who are living this important moment. Lord gives Christians to welcome every opportunity to pray together in order to achieve the full unity willed by Christ.
3/ The Center for Ecumenical Studies in Strasbourg will organize the 55th International Ecumenical Seminar from July 4 to 8, 2022, under the theme: “United at a distance: ecumenism in the digital age”. The seminar, scheduled online, will bring together speakers and participants from different Christian denominations and from many parts of the world.
Lord, we entrust to you this event of unity and all the participants who will reflect on the opportunities and dangers of digitization for ecumenism. May your Holy Spirit enlighten everyone to develop criteria for advancing ecumenical dialogue.