18 January 2008

January Prayer Intentions: Unity & Africa

Since 1844 popes have asked the Apostleship of Prayer to pray for specific intentions. They receive two prayer intentions each month from the Holy Father, and pledge themselves to pray for them every day. In 2000 it was estimated that over 40 million people belonged to this ministry.

This month's intentions:

Christian Unity--That the Church work for full visible unity that better manifests a community of love which reflects the Blessed Trinity.

Church in Africa--That the Church in Africa, preparing for a special Synod, may be an instrument of reconciliation and justice.

On the subject of christian unity I offer this thought from St. John Chrysostom:

If therefore we desire to have the benefit of that Spirit which is from the Head, let us cleave one to another. For there are two kinds of separation from the body of the Church; the one, when we wax cold in love, the other, when we dare commit things unworthy of our belonging to that body; for in either way we cut ourselves off from the "fullness of Christ." But if we are appointed to build up others also, what shall not be done to them who are first to make division? Nothing will so avail to divide the Church as love of power. Nothing so provokes God's anger as the division of the Church. Yea, though we have achieved ten thousand glorious acts, yet shall we, if we cut to pieces the fullness of the Church, suffer punishment no less sore than they who mangled His body.

~ Homily XI, Ephesians 4:4-16

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