Thursday, January 18, 2007

Today begins an Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. For ninety-nine years, an octave has been set apart for the precise purpose of prayer in the seeking of unity that was prayed by Jesus Christ himself.

Father Paul over at AtonementOnline has published some traditional prayers on his blog.
It's a nice little blog that I found through Kacy's blog, so a biretta tip to her. I'll copy and paste it here, but feel free to go take a look at his blog and also take a stop at Kacy's, who has her own link over there on the left handside of the page.

ANTIPHON: That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me.

V. I say unto thee, thou art Peter;
R. And upon this rock I will build my Church.[Here is brought to mind the intention for the day's prayer.]

January 18: For the return of the "other sheep" to the One Fold of our Lord Jesus Christ.
January 19: For the return of the Eastern Orthodox Christians to communion with the Apostolic See.
January 20: For the return of the Anglicans to the authority of the Vicar of Christ.
January 21: For the return of all Protestants throughout the world to the unity of the Catholic Church.
January 22: That Christians in America may be one, in union with the Chair of Saint Peter.
January 23: That lapsed Catholics will return to the Sacraments of the Church.
January 24: That the Jewish people will be converted to the Catholic Faith.
January 25: That missionary zeal will conquer the world for Christ.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst unto Thine Apostles: Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you; regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and grant unto her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will; Who livest and reignest ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

When Catholics speak of unity, it is not an invisible unity but a visible unity. Part of the Church Militant (Ecclesia Militans) here on Earth, united with the Church Triumphant (Ecclesia Triumphans) in heaven, and the Church Suffering (Ecclesia Penitens). Now some of you are wondering what I am rambling on about...well though we are separated by death, the Apostolic teaching of the Catholic Church is that we are still united to one another in one Church, and support each other in prayer. This is summed up nicely as believing in the Communion of Saints.

So does this mean I don't respect other Christian sects? Of course not, they are brothers and sisters in Christ, but I will hold that the fullness of faith is found in the teachings of the Catholic Church. That does not mean that I contain it for I know many of Protestant brothers and siters who have a better understanding of some aspects of the faith that I do not. I also know that I probably have a better understanding in some areas that they don't. It washes out there, but according to the creed the Church is to be one. It can not be one if it is splintered. The concept of invisible and visible that some hold to, holds some weight, but even they must be one as I wrote of above. One Church, One Faith.


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