2013-01-26 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) At the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Fr. Federico Lombardi, sj, director of the Press Office of the Holy See, reflects on “spiritual ecumenism” in his weekly editorial. Below is Vatican Radio’s English translation.
The yearly rendezvous for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an important moment for “spiritual” ecumenism, which gives meaning to and nourishes all of the other ecumenical initiatives of diverse importance and character, whether theological or cultural, charitable or social. All are necessary and precious, but only as much as they depart from a more profound spirit that inspires them and connects them directly into the great prayer of Jesus for the union of those who believe in him.
The most recent image that most expresses this spiritual ecumenism seems, without a doubt, to be the Prayer Vigil, which took place December 29. Tens of thousands of young people converged on Rome for the 35th European meeting, organized by the Taizé Community, and gathered around the Pope in St. Peter’s Square. Listening to the Word of God, meditative chant, prolonged silence: an extraordinary intense silence! “Animated by the fire of an ecumenism of holiness, Brother Roger encouraged all those who visit Taizé to become seekers of communion. We should listen to his ecumenism that he lived spiritually from within and allow ourselves to be led… toward an ecumenism that is truly interiorized and spiritualized.” This is how the Pope remembered the origin of the gift of grace, which manifested itself that evening in such a convincing and impressive way; it placed the immense square under a wave of lights and the palpable presence of the Spirit. Who was concerned that evening about the various confessions to which each of the young people belonged? They all belonged to the Spirit, given by Christ, and they were on a journey together toward Christ to undertake, as Brother Roger would say, “a pilgrimage of trust on Earth”. Let us continue to pray and hope for unity.