Unity within the Church through the pope Print
Bishop Morlino's Column
Thursday, Mar. 15, 2012 -- 12:00 AM
Under the Gospel Book by Bishop Robert C. Morlino
This column is the bishop’s communication with the faithful of the Diocese of Madison. Any wider circulation reaches beyond the intention of the bishop.

Dear Friends,

As you may or may not know, I was on my annual retreat in recent weeks. I do not take for granted the blessing I have to be able to take time for prayer, and silence, and listening to the Lord.

I know well that the daily demands of life make it nearly impossible for so many of us, especially in this day and age, to take time away on spiritual retreat. Nevertheless I’d encourage you to try to make time for such an experience. (Here at our diocesan center we just offered a weekend retreat, and there are opportunities in many locations at different times of the year.)

Making time for prayer in daily life

At the very least, it is my prayer that this Lent you’re able to make more time for your prayer in your daily life. A very manageable challenge that I would offer to each of you, regardless how busy you are, is to take a few moments — even 15 minutes — to make a short “retreat” each day.

Stop and listen to the Lord, for we retreat not into ourselves, but into God, remembering that it is in Him that we live. If possible, stop into a church and be with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, but take that time to listen and to pray.

Divison within the Catholic Church

I entered into this most recent retreat with a heart that was heavy with the realization of division in our Church.

Last week I mentioned that our new evangelization should be a witness to beauty, and one of the ways in which we can witness to beauty is through the charity of our lives. However, we cannot deny that there is a great deal of division between women and men who profess to be Catholic. A lack of unity within the Body of Christ is contrary to the will of Christ, and is certainly not beautiful.

‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’

I was thinking, on retreat, for some time about that part of the Lord’s prayer that says, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We pray essentially, “Thy will be done on earth as Thy will is done in heaven,” but do we mean it?

If God’s will on earth is going to be done the way that it is in heaven, that means that God’s will is to be done with the obedience of the angels — which is absolute.

The angels have an irreversible will; once they say, “yes” to God, it is an absolute “yes!” The way God’s will is done in heaven is with an absolute angelic “yes,” and this is in imitation of Jesus Christ, who was never alternatively, “yes,” and “no,” to His Father; Jesus was never anything but “yes.” He became absolutely obedient even unto death, death on the cross.

If we really mean that we want God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, then we mean we will be absolutely obedient to the Lord, who has given us the Vicar of Christ, the Pope, to pull us together. The Eucharist is the greatest sign and source of unity in the Church, but the sign and the source of unity in the Church that speaks to us in an audible way (with a German accent) is Pope Benedict XVI.

So, if there is to be unity within our Church, then all people must agree that unity comes from following our Holy Father — and that’s a tall order, but this is the way we believe, as Catholics, that Christ has laid out for unity within His body. And if division is the kind of demon that can only be overcome by prayer and fasting, let’s get to it. For unity is well worth it.

Let us pray and fast together that our Church may be united by the Resurrection power of Jesus Christ, and through each of us, because we are so in touch with that power, and united in asking the Lord, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Continued blessings in this season of Lent! Thank you for taking the time to read this! Praised be Jesus Christ!