Sunday, January 25th, 2009
Earlier today, Pope Benedict ended the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by presiding at Vespers in Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Here is the homily he preached before the gathered crowd, which included representatives of other Christian Churches and ecclesial communities.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is a great joy every time we find ourselves gathered at the tomb of the Apostle Paul on the liturgical feast of his conversion to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. I greet all of you with affection. I greet in a special way Cardinal Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the abbot and the community of monks who are hosting us. I also greet Cardinal Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. I greet along with him the lord cardinals who are present, the bishops and the pastors of the various Churches and ecclesial communities gathered here this evening.
A special word of recognition goes to those who worked together in preparing the prayer guides, experiencing firsthand the exercise of reflecting and meeting in listening to each other and, all together, to the Word of God.
St. Paul’s conversion offers us a model that shows us the way to full unity. Unity in fact requires a conversion: from division to communion, from broken unity to healed and full unity. This conversion is the gift of the Risen Christ, as it was for St. Paul. We heard this from the Apostle himself in the reading proclaimed just a moment ago: “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
The same Lord, who called Saul on the road to Damascus, addresses himself to the members of the Church — which is one and holy — and calling each by name asks: Why have you divided me? Why have you wounded the unity of my body?
Conversion implies two dimensions. In the first step we recognize our faults in the light of Christ, and this recognition becomes sorrow and repentance, desire for a new beginning. In the second step we recognize that this new road cannot come from us. It consists in letting ourselves be conquered by Christ. As St. Paul says: “I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been conquered by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12).
Crossroads Cultural Center
Columbia Catholic Ministry
Love, Life and Death in
“The Tidings Brought to Mary”
by Paul Claudel
A presentation on the eternal human questions in the French poet’s masterpiece through the eyes of Msgr. Luigi Giussani
Speakers: Fr. Peter CAMERON-Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat
Mr. Peter DOBBINS-Artistic Director of the Storm Theater
Dr. Evelyn (Timmie) Birge VITZ- Professor of French at NYU
Friday, February 6, 2009 at 7:00 PM
Earl Hall Auditorium, Columbia University Main Campus
117th Street and Broadway, New York
The conference is open to the public and free of charge.
Crossroads Cultural Center
125 Maiden Lane, Suite 15E, New York, NY 10038. Tel: (347) 713-5146.
E-mail: info [at] crossroadsculturalcenter [dot] org
Time magazine recently posted a photo essay on the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Summit, NJ. Click here to watch the five-minute video.