One and Catholic!

John 17:11

And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, which thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one.

The “oneness” of God has always been the oneness of a symphony and not of a single trumpet. His truth is symphonic, His love is symphonic, His goodness is symphonic, and His creativity is overwhelmingly symphonic. So when Christ prays that we “may be one,” even as He and the Father are one, He is not asking that the Church be a monolith in which everybody thinks and sounds the same. He is praying that we be Catholic: an absurdly rich stew of customs, rites, pieties, philosophies, cultures, tastes, politics, social ideas, questions, answers, and loves. The Church is to be not a single crystal, but “that strange divine sea” in which people from every nation, language, tribe and tongue find a home in the Father’s one house of many mansions and dwell in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Today, thank God that His Church is both one and Catholic.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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