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An Extraordinary Prayer

June 16, 2011
There’s got to be something more we can do.
This is what I keep thinking. The news is rarely good. Ecological and economic collapse here, a natural disaster there, clashes between religions, and as if all that weren’t enough: the added slap in the face of ideological disputes among Christians. The world needs renewing! It is beyond obvious!
But now for the remedy (yes, there is one!).
Fulton Sheen was known for saying that we will never have peace in the world if we do not have peace in our souls. Christ came to bring peace, not as the world gives does He give it. His is a lasting and abiding peace. A peace that unites, simplifies. His friends therefore must actively seek this peace at all costs for the good of all.
It is surely with this in mind that, in 2005, a group of monks and lay people in Jerusalem were inspired to start an initiative called the Extraordinary Prayer of All Churches. The idea came to them while they kept night vigil together at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the cradle (or Cross, more like) of Christianity.
Last Saturday, Christians in the Holy Land came together for the 6th Extraordinary Prayer for All Churches . Notably, the event last weekend fell on the vigil of the Solemnity of Pentecost (see the June 13th edition of Perspectives weekly here).
For the first time, the Latin Catholic Church hosted the event with Patriarch Fouad Twal presiding.  As the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude is the leader of all Latin Rite Catholics in the Holy Land.
Patriarch Twal was accompanied by representatives and religious of many other rites and professions including members of the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Coptic, Anglican and the Syrian Orthodox Church. Members from other Catholic rites were also present.
In his homily, Patriarch Twal said that we cannot call ourselves Christians without seeking unity. He said that politicians will not secure peace on their own; in the same way theologians will not attain unity alone. It is prayer that will change the world, he said.
After the Litany of the Saints and the Prayers of the Faithful, all of those gathered recited the Our Father in their respective native tongue as a sign of diversity and unity as on the day of Pentecost.
Salt + Light will be broadcasting the 6th Extraordinary Prayer in English next Saturday, June 25th at 8pm ET. As always, you can visit our website for programming details. The broadcast includes a documentary about the host Church, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
You can also take a look at the event trailer here.
Let us join our prayers with those of our Christian brothers and sisters that the Lord of Pentecost will once again send His powerful Spirit to renew the face of the earth.
Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shall renew the face of the earth.
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