Skip to comments.Pope says uniting Christianity requires conversion
Posted on 01/18/2012 3:19:15 PM PST by NYer
.- Pope Benedict XVI said today that achieving Christian unity requires more than cordiality and cooperation and that it must be accompanied by interior conversion.
Faith in Christ and interior conversion, both individual and communal, must constantly accompany our prayer for Christian unity, said the Pope to over 8,000 pilgrims gathered in the Vaticans Paul VI Audience Hall on Jan. 18.
The Popes comments mark the start of the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that runs until Jan. 25. It will be observed by over 300 Christian churches and ecclesial communities around the globe.
The Pope asked for the Lord in a particular way to strengthen the faith of all Christians, to change our hearts and to enable us to bear united witness to the Gospel.
In this way, he said, they will contribute to the new evangelization and respond ever more fully to the spiritual hunger of the men and women of our time.
The Pope explained that the concept of a week of prayer for Christian unity was initiated in 1908 by Paul Wattson, an Episcopalian minister from Maryland. One year later, he became a Catholic and was subsequently ordained to the priesthood.
Pope Benedict recalled how the initiative was supported by his predecessors Pope St. Pius X and Pope Benedict XV. It was then developed and perfected in the 1930s by the Frenchman Abbé Paul Couturier, who promoted prayer for the unity of the Church as Christ wishes and according to the means he wills.
The mandate for the week of prayer, the Pope underscored, comes from the wish of Christ himself at the Last Supper that they may all be one. He observed that this mission was given a particular impetus by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) but added that the unity we strive for cannot result merely from our own efforts. Rather, it is a gift we receive and must constantly invoke from on high.
The theme for 2012 Week of Prayer All shall be changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord was crafted by the Polish Ecumenical Council. Pope Benedict said it reflects their own experience as a nation, which stayed faithful to Christ in the midst of trials and upheavals, including years of occupation by the Nazis and later the Communists.
The Pope tied the victory the Polish people experienced over their oppressors to overcoming the disunity that marks Christians.
He said that the unity for which we pray requires inner conversion, both shared and individual, and it cannot be limited to cordiality and cooperation. Instead, Christians must accept all the elements of unity which God has conserved for us.
Ecumenism, the Pope stated, is not an optional extra for Catholics but is the responsibility of the entire Church and of all the baptized. Christians, he said, must make praying for unity an integral part of their prayer life, especially when people from different traditions come together to work for victory in Christ over sin, evil, injustice and the violation of human dignity.
Pope Benedict then touched on the lack of unity in the Christian community, which he said hinders the effective announcement of the Gospel and endangers our credibility. Evangelizing formerly Christian countries and spreading the Gospel to new places will be more fruitful if all Christians together announce the truth of the Gospel and Jesus Christ, and give a joint response to the spiritual thirst of our times, he explained.
The Pope concluded his comments with the hope that this years Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will lead to increased shared witness, solidarity and collaboration among Christians, in expectation of that glorious day when together we will all be able to celebrate the Sacraments and profess the faith transmitted by the Apostles.
The general audience finished with Pope Benedict addressing pilgrims in various languages, including greeting a group of men and women from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, before leading the crowd in the Our Father and imparting his apostolic blessing.
And thank you, dear sister in Christ, for those beautiful Scriptures!
I have read your posts.
The initial discussion was whether or not one MUST read Scripture and again, and again I have pointed out that nowhere in Scripture does Jesus or the Apostles say one must read Scripture.
You agreed that one could receive the Word of God in ways other than reading. But, then you jumped to the conclusion that one who does not read Scripture must have lost interest in it.
I disputed that and said that not everyone reads Scripture. Some receive it in other ways i.e. through hymns, or daily reflections or prayers.
You reiterated again about losing interest in Scripture.
And again, I disputed your conclusion.
And now for a third time you repeat it.
Reading Scripture is not for everyone. Some would rather spend their time in prayer or read reflections on it. It does not mean they have no interest, it means they prefer something different. It doesn’t make them any less concerned or interested in knowing God and knowing Jesus.
"STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the WORD OF TRUTH." (2 Tim.2:15).
Hymns, daily reflections, or prayers are good. But without studying God's Word, the Bible, you just may be an ashamed workman one day. God says that. Not me.
I will deal with all of your post later, but I must ask....
What is the purpose of pinging all those on your list?
The topic was whether or not one MUST read Scripture.
Alamo-Girl offered her opinion on the topic and said that if one has no interest in God’s word, then that is a problem.
I responded that not everyone receives God’s word by reading Scripture and she agreed that one can receive God’s word in ways other than reading it. But, she felt the need to speak again about one having no interest in God’s word.
What else am I supposed to think?
Interest in God’s word was not part of the discussion, it was whether or not one MUST read Scripture to receive and know God’s word.
Study is now a synonym for reading?
I know faithful people who attend Mass every day of their lives. They hear Scripture, not just in the readings, but in all the prayers and hymns. That is how they choose to study God’s word.
Jumping to the same conclusions does not mean the conclusion is valid.
Many good and faithful people find God and Jesus in ways other than reading Scripture. There are numerous other ways they do so that I posted about earlier.
Some get out and live the gospel, some sit in their homes and parse it online with strangers.
I, too know faithful people who are at the church doors every morning, waiting for them to be opened so they can be in "God's presence". Guess what? Without accepting Christ's finished work for their salvation, they are doing nothing more than DOING THINGS. It's all for nothing. Mass, prayers, hymns, rosaries, fastings, suffering, are meaningless. Because on the other side of the weight is Christ's finished work on Calvary. Awaiting anyone who will just accept it instead of their own works for righteousness.
I included my own posts so as to show the progression of the discussion, though post 1104 should have been 1102.
*****And I asked where I said that and you still haven’t provided the link or post number. In the one post you referenced, interest in Scripture was just one of the evidences I listed. *****
*****If someone does not have a desire to read God’s word and find out for himself what God has to say to him about Himself, then yes, I’d question that person’s salvation.*****
Your words in post #1141
****And that’s different from Catholicism how?
My statement is that if someone has true saving faith, it will show by their fruits and works, that there will be evidence. If there is ZERO evidence, absolutely no change in their lives after a verbal profession of faith, yes, I do wonder if they are saved or have saving faith because saving faith WILL produce results.****
<< 2 Peter 2 >>
New American Standard Bible
20For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22It has happened to them according to the true proverb, A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT, and, A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.
And therein lies the difference between what a Catholic believes and what a protestant believes. One can have faith, can live a righteous life and fall back into the mire of sin, rejecting Jesus’ grace and therefore their salvation.
****That is, if you don’t tow the line, you lost your salvation, making it a works based religious system.****
A clear misunderstanding of Catholic teaching on salvation.
One doesn’t “tow the line” to earn salvation. One lives out their faith in Jesus through their actions and behavior. One remains in Christ so that He will remain in them. There are many, many, many verses in Scripture where we are told that the branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off. Salvation was won by Christ on the cross.
Justification is by faith.
Sanctification is growing in grace and is a lifelong process.
Jesus’ mission is finished, the rest is up to us.
One cannot earn one’s salvation through works. It is only by God’s grace through the saving sacrifice of Jesus that one can be saved.
LOL, good thing we don’t have to depend on what you think for our salvation. I have already told you many times, I reject your idea of the way the Word is rightly divided.
I’ll take those who choose to study God’s word in prayerful devotion, in Mass and in their daily life.
To each as God calls them right!
you at post 1321: This is jumping to a conclusion. Why does it mean one has lost interest in the words of God if one does not daily read Scripture?
That said, I firmly aver that there is no substitute for the words of God. Ironically, today's Chambers devotional made the point rather well. The verse he addressed:
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. - John 8:58
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. - Revelation 1:7-8
I reiterate what I said earlier and stand by it.
It was you who brought a lack of interest in God’s word into the conversation regarding whether or not the faithful must read Scripture.
God’s word is revealed to us in many, many ways.
His Word is Jesus.
*****And so many of us today have our faculties and are literate and have the words of God available to us, directly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why wouldn’t any of us want to read them?****
St. Jerome said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
He said this at a time when nearly all Christians had no personal access to Scripture due to the lack of availability, the prohibitive cost of owning a Bible or because of the inability to read.
****And so many of us today have our faculties and are literate and have the words of God available to us, directly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why wouldn’t any of us want to read them?****
Again, some hear it in Mass, some read daily reflections or pray or watch preachers or religious programs on TV. It’s a matter of personal approach to hearing God’s word and just because one prefers one of these means to the solo/individual reading of Scripture, it does not mean they have no interest in God’s word.
Let me ask you something: If Scripture is not necessary, and God’s word can be revealed in many, many ways, including prayers, hymns, television programs, etc., where do you go to prove that what you are hearing is God’s Word of Truth? We are told to search the scriptures daily to see if those things are so. We are to compare scripture with scripture to determine whether we are being taught false doctrine. Do you just accept that if Christ’s name is mentioned in the prayer it MUST be from God? Or if the teacher mentions the gospel, it is the gospel that you know and believe? The only way to KNOW these things is in God’s Word, the Bible. A burning in the bosom doesn’t confirm a single thing. God has revealed Himself to us through His Word. And in order NOT to be swept around by every wind of false doctrine, we MUST read what His word says. Just because it sounds lovely doesn’t mean it’s truth. Truth CAN be absolutely KNOWN. Not just hoped for.
I stopped reading after this.....if Scripture is not necessary.
I NOWHERE and NO HOW ever said such a thing.
More jumping to a conclusion that comes from a predetermined mindset and not from actually reading and contemplating what was actually written.
Show us where a-g said that the faithful MUST read Scripture.....
Why is everything *must* with Catholics? Anyone who loves God will love His word and want to read it. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness and all that.
alamo-girl keeps trying to straighten you out about what she actually said, but it's almost like you're TRYING to not understand what she said, because of your insistence on misquoting her in spite of her repeated corrections.
Show me where I said that Alamo-girl said the faithful must read Scripture.
Like I’m trying not to understand? Yeah, that’s the ticket.
How about you try reading over the whole conversation, including and especially your own posts, then come back to me about which of us is the one trying not to understand.
I have not misquoted anyone, I have tried to keep to the subject at hand and present in my own words what I think is being posted to me in order to be clear what is being said.
I have not back tracked or forgotten my own posts, nor have I tried to misrepresent what was written to me.
My comments relate to separate issues but evidently that distinction cannot be, or will not be, recognized by you.
Therefore I will leave the thread. It has been interesting.
LOL, I think that’s probably best since you can’t even seem to remember how you came into the conversation or what it was about in the first place.