I've been thinking about Pentecost Sunday and the Descent of the Holy Spirit. Jane Mellinger writes of Ives Congar: "he insisted that the role of the Spirit is to unify these diverse individuals and gifts into one ecclesial body."
I've been toying with this thought: Christian unity totally depends on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Do you ever feel like you are standing in front of a door, and you've expended a crazy amount of energy trying to get the door to open. Your intellect is spent trying to figure out what's wrong with the thing. Your energy is used up trying to turn the knob and push the door in and out.
And the really horrible thing of it is this. You are meant to get into that room. You have to get into that room.
The problem is, you've tried everything. So you sit down and cry. Or you stand there and just kick at the base of the door, over and over.
I pray for Christian unity. A lot. And this year, something clicked. I didn't come up with it. I figured it out while reading something by Ives Congar.
There is only one way that Christian unity will ever happen. By the Power of the Holy Spirit. So simple. The key was in the story of Pentecost. The whole thing is waiting for the new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The division that occurred at the Tower of Babel was reversed on that Pentecost day when everyone understood every language perfectly. Unity is a sign of the Holy Spirit's presence!
So the division in the Christian world will be reversed when we open our hearts and minds to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
I don't know about you, but I am ready for the number of Christian denominations to shrink not grow. Don't we have enough denominations? Do we really need more than 33,000 of them? I'm ready to see the whole fractured Christian community healed.
Talk about getting back to basics! Talk about finding our roots!
Let the Church arise. That one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. There's only one church that has all Four Marks.
I have prayed the prayer Come Holy Spirit. I have prayed it many times. But I have always prayed it for myself.
Or for my students.
What if I began praying this prayer with one petition in my heart? What if I waited on the Holy Spirit, as those first disciples did? Come to us. Create and renew us. Make us one!
Ives Congar, I don't know you very well, but perhaps you would pray with me.
Blessed John Paul II, please pray as well.
And all who truly wish to see the Body of Christ restored to full, visible unity, please pray.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Fill the hearts of the faithful.
Enkindle in them the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit,
and we shall be created,
and You shall renew the face of the earth.