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Week of Prayer for the Unity of Christians: What Can I Do?

Tags: Ecumenical dialogue, Church, Prayer, Unity
The Church asks all Christians to pray more intensely during the Week of Prayer for the Unity of Christians, which lasts from January 18 to January 25, feast of the conversion of St Paul.


With one Spirit
Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople
Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

Pray to God that in the Holy Church, our Mother, the hearts of all may be one heart, as they were in the earliest times of Christianity; so that the words of Scripture may be truly fulfilled until the end of the ages: Multitudinis autem credentium erat cor unum et anima una — the company of the faithful were of one heart and one soul.
I am saying this to you in all seriousness: may this holy unity not come to any harm through you. Take it to your prayer!
The Forge, 632

Offer your prayer, your atonement, and your action for this end: ut sint unum! — that they may be one: that all of us Christians may share one will, one heart, one spirit. This is so that omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam — that we may all go to Jesus, closely united to the Pope, through Mary.
The Forge, 647

Please say a prayer each day for the following intention: that all of us Catholics may be faithful and determined to struggle to be saints.
It is so obviously reasonable. What else are we to desire for those we love, for those who are bound to us by the strong ties of the faith?
The Forge, 925

It is Jesus who speaks: “Amen I say to you: ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.”
Pray. In what human venture could you have greater guarantees of success?
The Way, 96


Enlarging our hearts

Fresco of St Peter and St Paul, Mount Athos.
Fresco of St Peter and St Paul, Mount Athos.
I venerate with all my strength the Rome of Peter and Paul, bathed in the blood of martyrs, the centre from which so many have set out to propagate throughout the world the saving word of Christ. To be Roman does not entail any kind of provincialism, but rather authentic ecumenism. It presupposes the desire to enlarge the heart, to open it to all men with the redemptive zeal of Christ, who seeks all and welcomes all, for he has loved all first.
In Love with the Church, 11

This pouring out of the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ and makes us acknowledge that we are children of God. The Paraclete, who is Love, teaches us to saturate our life with the virtue of charity. Thus consummati in unum: “made one with Christ”, we can be among men what the Eucharist is for us, in the words of St Augustine: “a sign of unity, a bond of love”.
Christ is Passing By, 87

Living in unity
What beautiful tones Our Lord uses to express this doctrine! He multiplies words and images so that we may understand it, so that this passion for unity may remain engraved on our souls. I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes that it may bear more fruit... Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn XV, 1-5).
In Love with the Church, 3

We must rekindle the sense of brotherliness which was so deeply felt by the early Christians

It is an essential part of the Christian spirit not only to live in union with the ordinary hierarchy — the Pope and the bishops — but also to feel at one with the rest of one's brothers in the Faith. For a long time I have thought that one of the worst ills affecting the Church today is the ignorance many Catholics have concerning what Catholics in other countries or sectors of society are doing and thinking. We must rekindle the sense of brotherliness which was so deeply felt by the early Christians. It will help us to feel united, while loving at the same time the variety of our individual vocations. And it will lead us to avoid many of the unjust and offensive judgements made by particular little groups in the name of Catholicism, against their brothers in the Faith, who in fact are acting nobly and with a spirit of sacrifice in the particular circumstances of their own countries.
Conversations, 61
St Josemaria with Friends of the University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain, 1967
St Josemaria with Friends of the University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain, 1967


You were amazed to hear me approve of the lack of ‘uniformity’ in that apostolate in which you work. And I told you: Unity and variety. You have to be different from one another, as the saints in heaven are different, each having his own personal and special characteristics. But also as like one another as the saints, who would not be saints if each of them had not identified himself with Christ.
The Way, 947

I carry in my heart, in my mind and on my lips, one aspiration: Rome!

For all those moments in history which the devil makes his business to repeat, I thought the comment on loyalty you had written to me was very appropriate: “I carry with me every day in my heart, in my mind and on my lips, an aspiration: Rome.”
Furrow, 344

Let me begin by reminding you of something Saint Cyprian tells us: The universal Church is a people which derives its unity from the unity of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
In Love with the Church, 17

Helping each other
Think about your Mother the Holy Church and consider how, if one member suffers, the whole body suffers.
Your body needs each one of its members, but each member needs the whole body. What would happen if my hands were to stop doing their duty... or if my heart were to stop beating!
The Forge, 471

You will find it easier to do your duty if you think of how your brothers are helping you, and of the help you fail to give them if you are not faithful.
The Way, 549

Our love for the Roman Pontiff must be a delightful passion, for in him we see Christ
The reference-point: Peter
And there is no other Catholic Church but the one which, built on the one Peter, rises up on the unity of the faith and on charity in one unique body, unified and compact. We help to make that apostolic continuity more evident in the eyes of all by demonstrating with exquisite fidelity our union with the Pope, which is union with Peter. Love for the Roman Pontiff must be in us a delightful passion, for in him we see Christ. If we talk with the Lord in prayer, we will go forward with a clear gaze that will permit us to perceive the action of the Holy Spirit, even in the face of events we do not understand or which produce sighs or sorrow.
In Love with the Church, 13

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