Friday, July 18, 2008

We should open ourselves to the gifts of other Christians

Excerpts from the Holy Father's talk to an ecumenical gathering of Christian leaders in Sydney. The common celebration of the Eucharist remains the goal:
Yet it [Baptism] is not the final destination. The road of ecumenism ultimately points towards a common celebration of the Eucharist (cf. Ut Unum Sint, 23-24; 45), which Christ entrusted to his Apostles as the sacrament of the Church's unity par excellence. Although there are still obstacles to be overcome, we can be sure that a common Eucharist one day would only strengthen our resolve to love and serve one another in imitation of our Lord: for Jesus' commandment to "do this in memory of me" (Lk 22:19) is intrinsically ordered to his admonition to "wash one another's feet" (Jn 13:14).
On the way, we must not give in to the temptation of compromising on doctrine:
We must guard against any temptation to view doctrine as divisive and hence an impediment to the seemingly more pressing and immediate task of improving the world in which we live. In fact, the history of the Church demonstrates that praxis is not only inseparable from, but actually flows out of didache or teaching. The more closely we strive for a deeper understanding of the divine mysteries, the more eloquently our works of charity will speak of God's bountiful goodness and love towards all. Saint Augustine expressed the nexus between the gift of understanding and the virtue of charity when he wrote that the mind returns to God by love (cf. De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, XII, 21), and that wherever one sees charity, one sees the Trinity (De Trinitate, 8, 8, 12)
And finally, and I think especially worth hearing in the often divisive atmosphere of the blogosphere (among other places!), we absolutely must recognize the gifts of each other:
For this reason, ecumenical dialogue advances not only through an exchange of ideas but by a sharing in mutually enriching gifts (cf. Ut Unum Sint, 28; 57). An "idea" aims at truth; a "gift" expresses love. Both are essential to dialogue. Opening ourselves to accept spiritual gifts from other Christians quickens our ability to perceive the light of truth which comes from the Holy Spirit.
(Emphasis added) He also spoke later to a gathering of inter-faith leaders, including Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists.

1 comment:

Nan said...

I've only just found your blog. Thank you for this post. My gift to you will be daily prayer for you, during your studies and your years of long as I live. May you be God's gift to those to whom you minister. May you ever grow in Faith, Hope and Love.