January 14, 2008 -
This year, January 18 to 25, 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of Christian Unity Week. In 1908 at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement held the first Church Unity Octave and have prayed for Christian unity, "without ceasing," ever since. Christians around the world celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity together, with the encouragement of the World Council of Churches' Faith and Order Commission and the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.|
Jesus prayed that all might be one as He and the Father are one. Jesus broke down barriers which separated people from each other. He gathered around him people from all walks of life. St Paul teaches that in Jesus there is neither male or female, master or slave, Greek or Jew. Paul became known as the Apostle to the Gentiles and he encourages us to “pray without ceasing.” This is the theme for this year’s Christian Unity Week. This is a great time to turn to God and ask for His Spirit to unite us, not only with Him but also with each other.
How can we promote Christian Unity? We can pray. Never doubt the efficacy of prayer if it is entered into with a sincere heart. Jesus told us, “Ask and it shall be given to you. Knock and the door will be open.” We can be attentive to others. We can listen to others. We can take time to learn something about another’s faith. We can take time to be with others and pray and celebrate together.
During the week of prayer for Christian Unity, attend a prayer service. Services, along with other Christian Unity resources, are listed on the Christian Unity section of the DSSM website.
To further reflect on Christian Unity Week 2008, visit http://www.weekofprayer2008.org, or order the Novalis resource 'Pray Without Ceasing'.