164. How does one commit oneself to work for the unity of Christians?

The desire to restore the unity of all Christians is a gift from Christ and a call of the Spirit. This desire involves the entire Church and it is pursued by conversion of heart, prayer, fraternal knowledge of each other and theological dialogue.


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Paragraph 820

820. "Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time."277 Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: "That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, . . . so that the world may know that you have sent me."278 The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.279

Paragraph 821

821. Certain things are required in order to respond adequately to this call:

- a permanent renewal of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation; such renewal is the driving-force of the movement toward unity;280 - conversion of heart as the faithful "try to live holier lives according to the Gospel";281 for it is the unfaithfulness of the members to Christ's gift which causes divisions; - prayer in common, because "change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement, and merits the name 'spiritual ecumenism;"'282 -fraternal knowledge of each other;283 - ecumenical formation of the faithful and especially of priests;284 - dialogue among theologians and meetings among Christians of the different churches and communities;285 - collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind.286 "Human service" is the idiomatic phrase.

Paragraph 822

822. Concern for achieving unity "involves the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike."287 But we must realize "that this holy objective - the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ - transcends human powers and gifts." That is why we place all our hope "in the prayer of Christ for the Church, in the love of the Father for us, and in the power of the Holy Spirit."288

Paragraph 866

866. The Church is one: she acknowledges one Lord, confesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one hope (cf Eph 4:3-5), at whose fulfillment all divisions will be overcome.


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What does the testimony of John the Baptist in John 1:29 mean, and how important is this testimony for Christians?

What does it mean to love God and neighbor and what is the importance of this teaching in the Bible?

What is God’s promise for the restoration of Jerusalem, and what can we learn about God’s faithfulness from Jeremiah 31:31-34?

Understanding God’s Wrath – Habakkuk 1:2-4

What does the Bible say about the importance of honesty and integrity in Ecclesiasticus 20:1-11?

What does the promise of salvation amid darkness in Micah 7:7 mean?

What is meant by the statement that the love of God is revealed in Christ, as mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:9?

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