Let’s not think of unity as an exclusively Roman Catholic thing in the face of real or imagined threats of schism, disagreements, a Left/Right divide, and so on. (Though that petition for confessional unity is important.)
280. At the same time, we ask God to strengthen unity within the Church, a unity enriched by differences reconciled by the working of the Spirit. For “in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13), in which each member has his or her distinctive contribution to make. As Saint Augustine said, “the ear sees through the eye, and the eye hears through the ear”. [Enarrationes in Psalmos, 130, 6: PL 37, 1707]
Jesus saw clearly in his farewell discourse the seeds of discord among his disciples–the Gospels don’t sugarcoat the differences among them, and the rest of the New Testament gives witness to difficulties in the early Church. How can we expect a difference today or in any age?
It is also urgent to continue to bear witness to the journey of encounter between the different Christian confessions. We cannot forget Christ’s desire “that they may all be one” (cf. Jn 17:21).
The check-up on this for any faith community: do you pray for it? Often? Regularly? With sincere intent?
Hearing his call, we recognize with sorrow that the process of globalization still lacks the prophetic and spiritual contribution of unity among Christians. This notwithstanding, “even as we make this journey towards full communion, we already have the duty to offer common witness to the love of God for all people by working together in the service of humanity”. [Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Jerusalem(25 May 2014), 5: L’Osservatore Romano, 26-27 May 2014, p. 6]
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