Today’s reflection is from the Grandchamp Community, a monastic community of about 50 sisters who come from different churches, countries and cultures. Evolving in the early 1930s and based initially in Switzerland, the sisters welcomed German and Dutch women into the community shortly after the Second World War, committing themselves to working for reconciliation as well as unity: “Ecumenical prayer, prayer for unity, was there at the heart of the life of our community from the start, and that is clearly the work of the Holy Spirit.” (Sister Minke).In adopting the Rule of the ecumenical Taizé Community in 1952, the sisters developed this outreach and have devised this year’s resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. So, rather than write a separate reflection, theirs for Day 7 follows as a means of establishing common ground. Perhaps you could light a candle where you are to add to those in the photo as a sign of the unity and hope that can be found despite the divisions that still remain in the body of Christ and the world we all share.With my prayers,Christine, Shrine GuardianPrayer for Christian Unity.
Growing in unity
“I am the vine, you are the branches” (Jn 15:5a)
1 Cor 1:10-13; 3:21-23 Is Christ divided?
Jn 17:20-23 As you and I are one
On the eve of his death, Jesus prayed for the unity of those the Father gave him: “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe”. Joined to him, as a branch is to the vine, we share the same sap that circulates among us and vitalizes us.Each tradition seeks to lead us to the heart of our faith: communion with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. The more we live this communion, the more we are connected to other Christians and to all of humanity. Paul warns us against an attitude that had already threatened the unity of the first Christians: absolutizing one’s own tradition to the detriment of the unity of the body of Christ. Differences then become divisive instead of mutually enriching. Paul had a very broad vision: “All are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Cor 3:22-23).Christ’s will commits us to a path of unity and reconciliation. It also commits us to unite our prayer to his: “that they may all be one. . .so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21).
“Never resign yourself to the scandal of the separation of Christians who so readily profess love for their neighbour, and yet remain divided. Make the unity of the body of Christ your passionate concern.” The Rule of Taizé.
Holy Spirit, vivifying fire and gentle breath, come and abide in us. Renew in us the passion for unity so that we may live in awareness of the bond that unites us in you. May all who have put on Christ at their Baptism unite and bear witness together to the hope that sustains them. Amen.