Day 3: Prayer for Christian UnityJan 20th, 2012 | By Tom Brown | Category: Blog Posts
In his work Called to Communion (Ignatius: 1991. German title: Zur Gemeinschaft gerufen), then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:
Anyone who becomes acquainted with [the Church] as she lives out her life sees immediately that the ancient Church never consisted in a static juxtaposition of local Churches. Catholicity, concretely realized in many forms, belongs to her essence from the very outset. In the apostolic period it is above all the figure of the apostle itself that stands outside the scope of the local principle. The apostle is not the bishop of a community but rather a missionary for the whole Church. The figure of the apostle is the strongest refutation of every purely local conception of the Church. He expresses in his person the universal Church; he is her representative, and no local Church can claim him for herself alone. Paul carried out this function of unity by means of his letters and a network of messengers. These letters are an exercise of his catholic ministry of unity, which can be accounted for only by the apostle’s authority in the Church universal. (P.83.)
Heavenly Father, may we become united and at peace with our Christian brothers and sisters through a better understanding of the ministries of the Apostles, bishops and fathers of the early Church. We pray in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.