18 June 2009

That We May Be One

Tonight I listened to a fabulous talk given by one of the most amazing Christians I've ever known, Deacon Keith Fournier. I still can't believe God saw fit to even cross my path with his and allow me to meet him. The blessing is all mine, I assure you.

But tonight... we were discussing ecumenism, and the call each and every Christian has to pray for unity among the body of Christ on earth. We should all be about the business of authentic ecumenism. We have much to learn from each other, and Catholics need to be engaging in conversations with Christians from other communities, listening to them, working with them every chance we get, and sharing all that we have in common.

Yes, it is important that we never water-down our own faith, our doctrines, or compromise the things we hold dear as Catholics. But as the good Deacon is constantly reminding us, our belief that the fullness of Christian truth is revealed and contained in the Catholic church should never make us haughty... it should make us humble. We have been given an unspeakable treasure.

"To whom much is given, much more will be required." Luke 12:48

My mind is swirling with the possibilities of what one, holy, apostolic, UNITED church might be like! How beautiful, how diverse, how rich, how multi-dimensional it will be. And it WILL be...Jesus' prayer will be answered. (John 17:20-23) The day will come when the Christian body on earth will be ONE. We must pray for it, and work for it, and be part of it.

Oh, for the day when our sad divisions will cease, and we will worship Christ together as one.

I truly cherish my Christian friends from other communities, and what I learn from them is invaluable. They enrich my walk with Jesus, and they inspire me. I truly hope that they are blessed by my life as well.

I have learned from them an infectious love and hunger for Scripture. I've been reminded by them that I must nurture my personal relationship with Jesus, and invite the Holy Spirit's guidance in my life. I have been amazed by their commitment to the Great Commission, to go and make disciples of all nations. I see in them the fruits of a passionate love for Jesus. A sold-out, no-holds-barred love for Jesus.

I hope when they look at me they see the same. My Jesus, I love You and only You!

I hope my life breaks down some of the barriers between us, and gently sweeps away some of the misconceptions. And I hope I can invite them to share the rich traditions that add such depth and beauty to my faith, like ~ a holy devotion to our Blessed Mother, and the communion of saints who have gone before us ~ the feast days that help teach us many important truths of our Christian faith ~ the many beautiful prayers we have ~ the sacraments through which God's grace flows into our lives ~ and most of all, the Body and Blood that feeds us.

When the blessed day comes, and the body of Christ is united, when we are ONE, I think the resulting Church will be something I've never even imagined before. When all the unique gifts and attributes are put together and woven into one tapestry, well, can you even dream of how glorious it will be?!?

Oh Lord, hasten the day when we will be as one again... soon!



Anne said...

Jennifer, you amaze me! You have so much talent and I love how you use it to share your deep and beautiful faith. I can't think of anyone I've found on the blogs who inspires me more than you do! You have my support, and my prayers!

carmelitemom said...

Thank you for the reminder to be open to the gifts of other Christian faiths. It's not hard to feel a bit *haughty* at times. How amazing it will be when we are gathered as one flock following the True Shepherd's voice.

Dirtdartwife said...

I can only imagine how glorious it will be when we are all one voice proclaiming the Truth for Christ. I agree, it's hard to not feel haughty at times because I have the personal side that wants to scream "Why are you believing such archaic idiocy? Don't you see the TRUTH??" but I have to check that attitude at the door. It's not helpful.

Amanda said...

Wow, this is amazing, and my thoughts exactly. I am Catholic as well, but I have many friends of other Christian denominations. I'm all for Christian unity, and long for the day that we can all worship together with no divisions separating us!! :-) Thanks for sharing!

Anne said...

This post has been on my mind again today. I have a sister who is Christian and today she sent me a message telling me that she thinks I am participating in idol worship when I attend Adoration and that it scares her. Whew! Have you any advice on how I might lovingly address that?

Jennifer said...


Boy, can I relate. I have two brothers who are no longer practicing Catholics and their many objections are all the usual ones, including what your sister said.

I suppose I might start by asking her why Jesus is an idol...? (Not snidely, of course.)

It is HIM we adore and worship. His presence, His body, His sacrifice for us. We're not gazing lovingly at a "wafer." We may see a "wafer" with our eyes, but with our spirits, with our hearts we recognize the LORD, present with us in His entirety, body and soul. He has never left us.

Of course, Christians who do not accept the truth that Christ is present in the Eucharist will still have a hard time with this, but you can still explain that your heart and your spirit are focused in adoration on JESUS, not a small circle of unleavened bread. It's all about Jesus, and unfortunately, many other Christians truly think that Catholics do not know Jesus.

Love her and pray for her, and live your life... she will see that you DO know Jesus and you love only Him.

Remember, sometimes the more they object, the more they attack, the closer they are to accepting the truth. A wise man once told me that.


Anne said...

Ooh, that is an excellent point about being close to accepting the truth! That must have been a wise man!

I do catch glimmers of a bit of re-conversion in her heart just because she asks me so many questions and seems to be so interested in what I believe and what I do. She does have a very deep faith, so whichever church she finds herself in, her heart is always with the Lord.

I'll be spending next weekend camping with her. I just need to remember to be strong in my faith and loving in my heart towards her and everyone. That's the best way to draw her back to the Catholic faith if that's God's intention, or to support her in whatever faith she chooses if that's God's intention.

Thanks for your support! Your words gave me much encouragement!


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