What Catholics And Orthodox Need To Unite That Never Comes Up In Debate

I’ve watched my fair share of debates on what Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches need in order to become one again. Usually it resolves itself by indicating that Rome will have to give up its teachings on infallibility and Universal jurisdiction. Then it points to the Orthodox having to submit to the Popes Universal jurisdiction and infallibility.

Very rarely do you ever hear them say that both Churches must meet together with love and humility. Love is the precursor to unity not only among Orthodox and Catholic laity, but the clergy as well. Love is the glue that unites me and you. There’s a nice lyric for a new song I feel coming on. I’ll say it again, “Love is the glue that unites me and you.”

Looking at scripture and Patristics, unless it be done with love of what use will it be? None whatsoever. Unless both Churches bend primarily in humility they will not bend and be capable of making unsettling sacrifices (unsettling for them not the Lord) to unite the Church making it shine once again as it did in the first 1000 years.

No, you won’t hear that in debates. All you will hear is, “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Yeah, maybe one Church on the hot button issues is right and the other wrong but it’s an intellectual rightful position. It means nothing to the Lord that one is right and the other wrong, only that the two come to an agreement to unite.

That agreement will never happen without love. The fact it has not occurred for the last 1000 years is evident that love is missing. I once saw the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew kneel and bow before the Pope. I don’t recall the Pope doing the same. But that is the kind of Love required for unity. More of that and the discussions surrounding Church history will be more fruitful.

Maybe these “YouTube” debates by the Johnny come lately converts to Catholicism and Orthodox priests should begin with them declaring their love for one another. “I want you to know that before this debate begins, that I love you and see you as more worthy of Heaven than myself.”

How easy would unity be if we could only love one another. People often say to me, “How can you enter the Orthodox Church without really studying it properly?” I tell them, “Love is what draws me in. It was hatred and the bad fruits of clergy in the Catholic faith that drove me away, but love drew me in to the Orthodox faith. I feel loved there. The truth is discovered and always realized in a place you’re genuinely loved.”

You see? What unites a person to the Lord or any Church is love. What will unite Catholics and Orthodox Christians to the one Church the Lord wants us all to be a part of again is our love for one another. Hatred not only creates division and scandal, but opens the existing wound even further. The Doctor (Jesus) wants to bandage up that wound. However, because we lack humility and don’t want him to touch it he respects that free will and so allows the wound to fester.

All seems lost but it isn’t. Through the prayers of Orthodox and Catholics looking for a united front to work from once again, he will unite us whether or not we like it. It will be a unity according to how HE sees it and not us. But first he needs our cooperation in love for one another. Right now all the Lord sees is Orthodox theologians and Johnny come lately Catholic laity flexing their intellectual muscles on YouTube.

As entertaining as it is to observe, all miss that secret ingredient at the beginning and end of their discussions. What is that ingredient? “I want you to know that I love you.”

Dear readers, as I ran through this article again to see how it read, something happened me. Whether or not it is a Grace I’ve no idea, I’ll let you decide. When I got to the line, “But first he needs our cooperation in love for one another” A mysterious thing took place. My heart began to expand with compassionate love and as I felt the tears begin to rise I did my best to suppress the feeling but I could not. I cried and felt the pain of the Lord but it was a sorrow mingled with joy. I cried for a few moments and I had to let it run its course.

Our division greatly offends Him.

God bless.

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