Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Father, make us one . . . that the world may know . . .

This photograph (thank you, Josue Cornejo) was taken on 27th October during the Pope's Pilgrimage to Assisi. May the Holy Spirit be poured out afresh across all Christian communities, bringing renewal, unity and peace. (Except as otherwise noted, the prayers and petitions below are based on the writings of the Abbé Paul Couturier.)


For the bad examples in our conduct,
which have slowed down, diminished or destroyed
the effects of grace in the souls of others:
We ask you to forgive us, Lord.

For forgetting to offer prayer, frequent, friendly, fervent,
on behalf of our fellow Christians:
We ask you to forgive us, Lord.

Above the frontiers of language, race and nation,
through all our rich difference and diversity:
Unite us, Lord Jesus.

With Christians who are persecuted and in need,
with our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters
across the world and in our midst:
Unite us, Lord Jesus.

Above our ignorance, our prejudices,
or any unconscious hostility,
through better understanding and ever closer communion:
Unite us, Lord Jesus.

Above our different spiritual and theological traditions,
in one spirit, one Bread and one Body:
Unite us, Lord Jesus.

O God, for the increase of your glory:
Gather your scattered people.

O God, for the triumph of good and of truth:
Gather your scattered people.

O God, that there may be but one fold and one Shepherd:
Gather your scattered people.

O God, that justice and peace may finally reign in the world:
Gather your scattered people.

O God, to bring fullness of joy to the heart of your Son:
Gather your scattered people.

By your power, Lord,
gather together your scattered flock
under the one authority of your Son:
that the design of your love may be accomplished
and that the world may know you, the one true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for unity,
unity among all who profess your name,
unity among people from every nation and every colour,
unity within our families.
- let not the winds of alienation extinguish their fires of love-,
unity within our hearts
- let us not turn, divided or rejected, enemies to ourselves.
Envelop us in your seamless robe,
the one and whole garment of unity
in which you suffered for us.
(The Prayer for Unity of the Dioceses of Brugge, Lincoln and Nottingham)

Lord Jesus,
who prayed that we might all be one,
we pray to you for the unity of Christians,
according to your will, according to your means.
May your Spirit enable us
to experience the suffering caused by division,
to see our sin,
and to hope beyond all hope.


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