On this Feast of the apostle St Andrew, brother of St Peter, Pope Francis will send his festal greetings to Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople (Istanbul) whose patriarchal See was, according to tradition, founded by St Andrew. It is a good time to pray for the Spirit to lead us closer to full, visible unity between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.
Recently I re-read the Orthodox spiritual classic, The Way of a Pilgrim. It’s a favorite of mine, should be of yours, and reading it reminds me of how much the East is really the Mystical Lung of the Church.
I offer as my prayer this day these hope filled words of Bl. John Paul II:
May God shorten the time and distance. May Christ, the Light from the East, soon, very soon, grant us to discover that in fact, despite so many centuries of distance, we were very close, because together — perhaps without knowing it — we were walking towards the one Lord, and thus towards one another.
May the people of the third millennium be able to enjoy this discovery, finally achieved by a word that is harmonious and thus fully credible, proclaimed by brothers and sisters who love one another and thank one another for the riches which they exchange. Thus shall we offer ourselves to God with the pure hands of reconciliation, and the people of the world will have one more well – founded reason to believe and to hope.