Br. Christopher shares on Christian Unity: "We are in the midst of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18 – 25). The very fact that this intention has a week in the liturgical calendar shows how important the Church takes this, how much God wants it.
Christian Unity has been important for me personally for a long time. Before I entered the monastery I was friendly and discerned with the Brothers of Christian Unity, a very small diocesan order located in my home area of Sonoma County, California. In fact, Sonoma County has a very special place in ecumenical history: It is the home of the southernmost Russian Orthodox chapel at Fort Ross founded in 1812 by Russian traders coming down from Alaska , and also of the last and northern most Roman Catholic Franciscan Mission of San Francisco Solano located in the city of Sonoma, founded in 1823. In other words, it is the place where the Gospel finally encircled the globe and the Arms of the Cross embraced the world!
What I loved about the Brothers of Christian Unity was their approach: it was not one of preaching or big events or doctrinal matters; theirs was a ministry of FRIENDSHIP. The idea was that Christian unity originally broke down centuries ago because of a growing environment of mistrust, mutual suspicion, and accusation amongst the parties, and that unity can be worked out again only in an atmosphere of respect, welcome and reverence for the other. So the Brothers fostered visits and friendship among Christians and the various Christian communities. It is not that doctrine is unimportant, but God will enable doctrine to be worked out when we return to loving one another first. Christ’s Kingdom is a Kingdom of Love. Let us pray this week for the grace of unity through love and respect among all the followers of Our Lord."
Blessing and Peace from your brothers of New Clairvaux
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