January 14, 2000
volume 11, no. 10

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    "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

    This weekend Sister looks toward next week when we observe a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from January 18 through January 25th. She points out that unity can only be attained through love, not hate and prejudice. The latter is what has divided us for so many years and God doesn't want that. He wants all of us to be one with Him, reminding us of His two greatest commandments - to love God and love one another. That is the gist of her brief column entitled Church Unity Week.

    Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy by e-mail.

    Next week is widely recognized in the Christian world as a week of prayer for Christian Unity.

    During Holy Week Services every year, we pray in a very special way for Church Unity, though we pray for it many other times, as well.

    At the Last Supper Jesus prayed: "That we all may be one, Father, as You and I are one!" This is the Will of God - that we be ONE.

    When I was young, (there was such a time) I used to think that Church Unity would come about by all of the non-Catholics coming to believe as we Catholics believe. I used to think that the leaders of the various denominations would have to get together and "hash" out all of the theological differences between us and that all of the non-Catholics would have to come over "to our side."

    But as I have grown older, I have come to believe that when the time comes for us to be "united" by the grace of God, that we will be united, first of all, not by theological agreements, but, first of all, we will be united IN OUR HEARTS. We human beings must first come to love each other as God wants us to love and as He loves us. When all peoples can come to that kind of love, then and only then, can hearts melt enough to be broadminded enough to hear the TRUTH and accept it.

    I sometimes wonder how much we really want UNITY and really want division instead. For example, I know a man who is proud to be Catholic. He believes his Faith is the true one. (So do I!) But I heard him say once: "Those #@#%* Protestants!!!" Oh, my! As soon as I heard that, I thought: "This man is missing the whole point of Our Lord's prayer at the Last Supper: "That we all may be one!" With an attitude such as this man had, there will never be unity in God's family. That attitude reflected great pride and lack of love. It made me think of what Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees: "The prostitutes and harlots are getting into Heaven before you!"

    There is no parent that I know of that wants their family to be divided. The heart of a mother or a father grieves deeply when they see division in their family.

    God's family does so, as well. We belong to God's family and God does not want His children fighting, hating, resenting and mistreating each other.

    Some day the scales will fall from our eyes and we shall see ourselves as God sees us. Perhaps it will be then that our knowledge of the reality of own sinfulness and need for God's mercy will enable us to recognize others as better than ourselves. For sure, no one gets to Heaven who does not love.

    I intend to pray extra and FAST from January 18 to the 23 next week for the intention of Christian Unity. Will you join me???

    God bless you!


January 14-16, 2000
volume 11, no. 10

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