Friday, 25 January 2008

Christian Unity

Today is the last day of the octave of prayer for Christian unity. This prayer by Cardinal Newman (which was reproduced in our parish bulletin a couple of weeks ago) is my favourite prayer for Christian unity:

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who when thou wast to suffer,
didst pray for thy disciples
till the end of time
that they might all be one,
as thou art in the Father
and the Father in thee,
look down in pity
on the manifold divisions
among those who profess thy faith,
and heal the many wounds
which the pride of man
and the craft of Satan
have inflicted on thy people.
Break down the walls of separation
which divide one party and denomination
of Christians from another.
Look with compassion
on the souls
who have been born
in one or other of these communions
which not thou,
but man hath made.
Free the prisoners
from these unauthorised forms of worship,
and bring them all
into the one communion
which thou didst set up
at the beginning:
the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Teach all men
that the See of Peter,
the Holy Church of Rome,
is the foundation,
centre and instrument of unity.
Open their hearts
to the long-forgotten truth
that the Holy Father, the Pope,
is thy Vicar and Representative:
and that obeying him
in matters of religion
they are obeying thee,
so that as there is
but one company in heaven above,
so likewise there may be
one communion
confessing and glorifying
thy Holy Name
here below.