Friday, January 22, 2016

Week Of Prayer For Christian Unity

I haven't really thought about it, or frankly, prayed about it consciously. I know that it is deeper in my heart than even that. I carry my Reformed brethren especially with me especially as I attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As we say, "In your compassion, O merciful Father, gather to yourself all your children, scattered throughout the world."

I'm especially thankful for those of you who, out of deep conviction, believe you cannot be Catholic. That is, you believe us to be wrong. We do not long for Christian unity from pure sentiment, and I would not encourage anyone to seek full communion with the Catholic Church on that basis.

Rather, I believe it is an authentic work of the Holy Spirit when He convinces people of strong conviction to re-examine the frameworks for those beliefs, out of fidelity to Him, and to Christ. The converts I know are not flakes; they did not suddenly tire of caring about revealed truth. Quite the opposite.

People who understand and sympathize with non-Catholic beliefs make the best converts, because that difference, which the Church classifies as error, is to them a familiar path. Imperfect, but faithful.

That's why the popular Catholic teachers tend to be converts. It's also why our theology of salvation is necessarily nuanced. A pagan who sees his errors and comes to Christ doesn't have the same journey as a Lutheran; not even close. Other Catholics who fail to note this don't necessarily help the cause. Into Your hands, O Christ, do we commit this cause, for it was first your prayer to the Father.

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