«Jesus, here we are … first of all to ask you for something great, Lord!
You said: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name [in my love], there am I in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20). Kindle in us all a great fraternal respect, help us to listen profoundly to one another, arouse among us that mutual love which allows, indeed, which ensures your spiritual presence in our midst. Because we know, Lord, that without you we can do nothing” (See Jn 15:5).
But, with you in our midst, we will be enlightened by your light and guided on this day ….
You know … the same and yet different calling that has been laid upon us: to work, together with many others in the Christian world so that the full and visible communion among the Churches may one day become a reality. Even though we know that this requires almost a miracle. This is why we need you, Jesus. For our part … we cannot help but open our heart and reveal to you our deepest sentiments.
First of all, we feel the need to ask you for forgiveness on our own behalf, but also on behalf of our Christian brothers and sisters of all times, forgiveness for having carelessly torn your tunic, for having cut it up into so many pieces; or for having kept it this way because of indifference. At the same time, we cannot help but nurture an ardent hope in your mercy, which is always greater than any of our sins and capable not only of forgiving, but also of forgetting. Just as we cannot deny that we have a great faith in your immense love, which is able to draw good from every evil, if we believe in you and if we love you.
All this burns in our heart, Jesus, in this moment, together with gratitude for what Christians of many Churches have been able to do, with your grace, for almost a century. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, they have worked towards mutual reconciliation through a fruitful dialogue of love, intense theological work, and a general sensitization of the people to the need for unity.
And so, allow us to tell you, Lord, that although always in the acutely painful situation of not having achieved full communion yet, we sense in our heart the Christian optimism that your infinite Love cannot help but kindle. We begin our work then confident that you, who know how to win the world, will help us to help you fulfill your testament here on earth one day. Then with unity achieved, your testament will witness to the world that you are the King and Lord of all hearts and peoples. Amen.
Chiara Lubich at the World Council of Churches
Geneva, 28 October 2002
Published by New City Press in in the book entitled Living Dialogue, Rome 2002, p.47-49 (a collection of Chiara Lubich’s various talks during her trip to Geneva in 2002, with strong ecumenical imprint).