Sunday, January 23, 2011


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Conversion to Christ is the way toward communion

“We know how many trials face our brothers and sisters of the Holy Land and the Middle East,” and we as Christians gather around them, and for all of us this becomes an additional factor of communion.” These were just some of Pope Benedict XVI’s words at the traditional Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square this Sunday, which falls in the midst of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The Pope recalled that the theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: One in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer was chosen by the Churches and Ecclesial Communities of Jerusalem, which perform a valuable service, “strengthened by a witness that, in some cases, has come even unto the sacrifice of life.”

The Holy Father explained that only, “by remaining firmly united to Christ,” can the Church efficaciously conduct Her mission, “despite the limitations and failings of Her members, despite the divisions,” which are, he said, “an offense to Christ,” and it is only in Him, the only Head and the only Lord, that we may find ourselves again united, “by the inexhaustible strength of his grace.”

The serious commitment to conversion to Christ, said Pope Benedict, “is the way that leads the Church, in God’s own time, to full visible unity.”

After the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English, in which he spoke of the liturgical proclamation of the generous response of the first disciples to the call of Christ:

May each of us continually recognize the call of the Lord in our own lives and engage in the work of evangelization without fear or reluctance.

The Week of prayer for Christian Unity will conclude this Tuesday, January 25th, with the solemn singing of Vespers to mark the feast of the conversion of St. Paul.

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