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The Octave of Christian Unity: Day Five (Jan. 22)


icon of John of Damascus

Prayer Focus: Unity among all Christians, with a particular focus on Catholic and Orthodox relations, due to so many common beliefs and practices
Specific Request: All Catholic, Orthodox, and other Christian Theologians

Daily Prayer
Almighty and merciful God,
You willed that the different nations
should become one people through your Son.
Grant in Your kindness.
that those who glory in being known as Christians
may put aside their differences
and become one in truth and charity,
and that all human beings, enlightened by the true Faith
may be united in fraternal communion in the one Church
Through Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayer for Unity of the Church from the New St. Joseph People's Prayer Book

Other Devotional Activity: offer an activity and/or prayer(s) in petition for Orthodox-Catholic Unity (e.g. fasting, Hail Mary, Jesus Prayer, etc.).


Eastern Reading
An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith (Book III) (read the first few chapters) by St. John of Damascus

Western Reading
On the Holy Trinity (Chapter VI) by St. Augustine of Hippo

Note: Both Augustine and John are important theologians, the former in the Catholic Church, the latter in the Orthodox Church. Yet, both are Saints in both Churches.

Practical Activity

Read more of St. John and St. Augustine and think about the different approaches they take towards theological thinking. Try to understand why the Orthodox may approach theology differently than Catholics. Think of ways these different approaches still lead to the same or similar conclusions. Remember that in spite of slightly different approaches in the East and the West, the Church still managed unity until 1054.

The image is an icon of John of Damascus, a saint and theologian in both the East and West