Day 7 (January 24), Hospitality for Prayer
- 1 Peter 4:7b-10, Be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers.
Most of us today have a family member or two who is from another Christian tradition. Most often this member is in an ‘Interchurch Marriage.’
When I read “discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers,” I think of interchurch couples I know. Their ‘ecumenical marriages’ (over 20% of all Catholic marriages) are matters of practical ecumenism at the grassroots level.
Interchurch couples have certain challenges and opportunities in their relationship that call for regular prayer and discernment. There is a strong tendency among such couples to ‘take the path of least resistance,’ to ignore their religious differences, and to lessen the daily practices of Christian faith. This can make for a shallow relationship.
The key here is the discipline of praying together. This is the positive foundation for discussing the differences that inevitably arise. Successful couples pray together, decide together, and work together for the good of others.
They have the discipline to go deeper on the spiritual journey. Often they seek out the company of other interchurch couples. They are wise enough to know that they can learn from others. They realize too that all differences need not be resolved.
Interchurch couples often bring their wisdom to the church community. Those of us in the ecumenical movement can learn much from listening to these practical ecumenists.
Lord Jesus, you asked your apostles to stay awake with you and to pray with you. May we offer the world protected times and spaces in which to find refreshment and peace, so that praying together with other Christians we may come to know you more deeply. Amen.