Do Not Despair or Give Up (Leo, the Rosary, and Christian Unity, part 8 of 10)Oct 23rd, 2014 | By Beth Turner | Category: Blog Posts, Catholic Life and Devotion
This is the eighth in a ten part guest series by Beth Turner, the wife of Barrett Turner. Beth and Barrett were received into full communion at Easter 2010 and live in Virginia with their four children. Beth’s story of her journey into the Catholic Church can be found at Saved by Love: A Seminary Wife’s Journey.
Do Not Despair or Give Up
“But there are some who, whilst they honestly agree with what We have said, yet because their hopes–especially as regard the peace and tranquillity of the Church–have not yet been fulfilled, nay, rather because troubles seem to augment, have ceased to pray with diligence and fervor, in a fit of discouragement. Let these look into themselves and labour that the prayers they address to God may be made in a proper spirit, according to the precept of our Lord Jesus Christ. And if there be such, let them reflect how unworthy and how wrong it is to wish to assign to Almighty God the time and the manner of giving His assistance, since He owes nothing to us.” (Octobri Mense 10)
It has been nearly a millennium since Catholic and Orthodox Christians have been separated, and nearly 500 years since Protestants and Catholics have been “of one mind” about matters of faith. These divisions among those who have the Christian name take a toll on us. They take a toll on relationships within our families. The take a toll on our friendships. They take a toll on our witness in the world.
It has only been 4 1/2 years since my conversion, and I experience a great temptation to give up on the goal of Christian unity. It has been two years since my husband and I began praying the Rosary every day, and it is tempting to offer my prayers for intentions which seem more possible in human terms. It is hard to hope and pray so fervently for something such as Christian unity and to fail to see the way to bring it about. Sometimes, it is tempting not to pray for Christian unity at all, because calling to mind the state of Christianity can be bitter and disappointing.
As Pope Leo XIII advises, we must not to give in to this temptation. Jesus Himself prayed for this intention explicitly, so we know that it is close to His heart. The Church recommends that we pray for this intention every morning with the Morning Offering prayer. We can do nothing apart from the help of God, including the return to a happy state of unity among Christian believers.
Part 7 of this series is available here.