"Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all." – Eph 4:3-6

 

THIS TEXT SAYS it all! The problem is not so much the toiling with the questions of who is right and who is wrong, or who has to convert to whose side. The real problem, our greatest common challenge, is our movement toward Christ. All believers have to become more and more Christ-like. The more we are Christ-like the more we are on our way towards unity.

Christ is not a doctrine or a lofty theory. Christ is the visible presence of the invisible God. In all humility, both Roman Catholics and other Christians have to show a great respect for each other. Vatican II document on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) states that "men of both sides were to be blamed" for the divisions of Christendom.

The mystery of God present in the person of Jesus (and in us) is so rich and so all-encompassing that it cannot be adequately expressed. In that way, the divide can be a blessing. We have so much to learn from each other. We can enrich each other. We ought to consider ourselves and all baptized Christians as pilgrims on the same road, searching for the face of God. The more we are committed to this the more our unity will be actualized… more in love and service to humanity than in theological and dogmatic propositions.

It feels great that Pope Benedict XVI is keen on entering into dialogue with Muslim brothers and sisters… looking for common ground. It would be a shame that Christians cannot do the same… or better. We have so much in common already. Let us rejoice and grasp all opportunities to "become one". Working, praying and sharing will further the long journey towards unity. This should be our "passion", a passion coming from deep within our hearts, from Christ within us all. - By Father Frans de Ridder, CICM

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