Friday, January 18, 2008

Prayers for Unity

Today begins the 100th annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The week was founded by the religious community, the Society of the Atonement, to pray for reconciliation between the Anglican and Roman Catholic Church. Each year, prayers, dialogues and celebrations occur between the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter (formerly on Jan. 18) and the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on Jan. 25.

Since then participation has been sanctioned by both churches and encouraged by the National Council of Churches, which includes dozens of other denominations. This year's theme is "Pray without ceasing from 1 Thessalonians 5:17, and here are Pope Benedict XVI's intentions for each of the remaining days.

18 January: Pray always. "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5, 17).

19 January: Pray always, trusting God alone. "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5, 18).

20 January: Pray without ceasing for the conversion of hearts. "Admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

21 January: Pray always for justice. "See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all" (1 Thessalonians 5, 15).

22 January: Pray constantly with a patient heart. "Be patient with all of them" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

23 January: Pray always for grace to work with God. "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5, 16).

24 January: Pray for what we need. "... help the weak" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

25 January: Pray always that they all may be one. "Be at peace" (1 Thessalonians 5, 13b)

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