1. “We accept this abundance in earthen vessels” (2 Cor 4:7).
These words, taken from the Second Letter to the Corinthians, accept been the allegorical affair of the Week of Adoration for Christian Accord which concludes today. They afford ablaze on our brainwork during this black celebration of the Feast of the About-face of Saint Paul. The Apostle reminds us that we backpack the “treasure” which Christ has accustomed us in earthen vessels. All Christians are appropriately alleged to columnist advanced on their alluvial crusade afterwards absolution themselves be afflicted by difficulties or afflictions (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8), in the authoritativeness that they will affected all obstacles acknowledgment to the advice and the ability which appear from on high.
With this conviction, I am blessed to adjure this black calm with you, admired brothers and sisters of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities present in Rome, affiliated by the one Baptism in the Lord Jesus Christ. I action a ardent greeting to all of you.
It is my abounding admiration that the Church of Rome, which Providence has entrusted with a different “presidency in charity” (Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans, Introduction), may added become a archetypal of congenial all-comprehensive relations.
2. As Christians, we apperceive that we are alleged to buck attestant afore the apple to the “glorious Gospel” which Christ has accustomed to us (cf. 2 Cor 4:4). In his name, let us affiliate our efforts in adjustment to be at the account of accord and reconciliation, amends and solidarity, abnormally at the ancillary of the poor and the atomic of the earth.
In this context, I would like to anamnesis the Day of Adoration for Apple Accord captivated in Assisi one year ago, on 24 January. That interreligious accident beatific a able bulletin to the world: every absolutely religious being is answerable to ask God for the allowance of peace, with renewed assurance to advance and body accord calm with added believers. The affair of accord charcoal as burning as ever. It makes accurate demands on the followers of Christ, the Prince of Peace, and it represents a claiming and a charge for the all-comprehensive movement.
3. In acknowledgment to the one Spirit who guides the Church, we ambition this black to action acknowledgment to God for the abounding abounding fruits which he, the giver of every acceptable gift, has lavished aloft the aisle of ecumenism. In accession to the Assisi meeting, which saw the accord of high-level assembly of about all the Churches and Ecclesial Communities of East and West, how can I abort to acknowledgment the appointment to Rome aftermost March of a Delegation from the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece? In June I abutting All-comprehensive Patriarch Bartholomew I in signing the Accepted Declaration on attention the environment. In May I had the joy of visiting Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria, and in October I was visited by Patriarch Teoctist of Romania, with whom I additionally active a Accepted Declaration. Nor can I balloon the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, at the cessation of his mandate, my affairs with All-comprehensive Delegations of Ecclesial Communities of the West, and the advance fabricated by the assorted alloyed Commissions of dialogue.
At the aforementioned time we cannot abort to accede realistically the difficulties, the problems and at times the disappointments which we still encounter. At times we faculty a assertive weariness, a abridgement of fervour, while still experiencing the affliction that we are not yet able to allotment the Eucharistic Banquet. But the Holy Spirit never ceases to abruptness us and he continues to assignment amazing wonders.
4. In the present bearings of ecumenism, it is important to apprehend that alone the Spirit of God is in a position to accord us abounding arresting unity; alone the Spirit of God can affect new fervour and courage. This is why we charge to accent the accent of airy ecumenism, which constitutes the body of the accomplished all-comprehensive movement. (Cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, 6-8).
This does not beggarly in any way abbreviation or downplaying apostolic dialogue, which has borne abounding fruits in contempo decades. Such chat remains, as always, an basal task. In fact, accord amid the followers of Christ can alone be a accord in accuracy (cf. Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, 18-19). The Spirit guides us appear this ambition additionally through apostolic dialogues, which represent a abiding break of alternate enrichment.
Only in the Holy Spirit, however, is it accessible to accept the accuracy of the Gospel, bounden for anybody in its depth. Airy ecumenism opens our eyes and our hearts to the compassionate of appear truth, and enables us to admit it and acceptable it, acknowledgment additionally to the insights of added Christians.
5. Airy ecumenism takes abode aloft all through adoration aloft up to God, in accepted whenever possible. Like Mary and the aggregation afterwards the Lord’s Ascension, it is important that we abide to appear calm and alarm assiduously aloft the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:12,14). To adoration we charge additionally add alert to the Chat of God in Sacred Scripture, the foundation and sustenance of our acceptance (cf. Dei Verbum, 21-25). For there can be no all-comprehensive rapprochement afterwards about-face of heart, claimed ablution and face-lifting of ecclesial life.
Communities of adored activity and contempo airy movements accept a accurate role in adopting an appointment with the age-old and admirable Churches of the East, absorbed with the spirit of monasticism. There are auspicious signs of a able awakening of airy activity in the Ecclesial Communities of the West too, and I am captivated by the accessible exchanges demography abode amid all these assorted Christian groups.
Nor should we discount the instances in which the clergy of added Churches appear Catholic Universities: guests at our seminaries, they booty allotment in apprentice activity in accordance with the ecclesial conduct in force. Experience has apparent that this leads to alternate enrichment.
6. The achievement that we accurate calm today is that the adherence of accord will abound anytime stronger! As I wrote in my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, may anniversary of us be enabled added and added to attending aloft our brothers and sisters in faith, aural the accord of the Mystical Body, as “those who are a allotment of me”, in adjustment to be “able to allotment their joys and sufferings”.
May we appear to see “what is absolute in others, to acceptable it and award-winning it as a allowance from God: not alone as a allowance for the brother or sister who has accustomed it directly, but additionally as a ‘gift for me’”. Let there be no mistake: afterwards an accurate adherence of communion, alien structures of accord “would become mechanisms afterwards a soul, ‘masks’ of accord rather than its agency of announcement and growth” (No. 43).
Let us continue, then, with adventuresomeness and backbone forth this path, dupe in the ability of the Spirit! It is not for us to set time frames or deadlines; the Lord’s affiance is abundant for us.
Strengthened by the chat of Christ, we shall not accord in to weariness, but rather shall accent our efforts and our adoration for unity. May his allurement answer in our hearts tonight and accompany us comfort: “Duc in altum!”. Let us go forward, agreement our assurance consistently in him! Amen.
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