On the feast of Saint Josaphat, a lesson from the past for all Catholics*.
...We desire ... that all the faithful, following the teachings and in the footsteps of Saint Josaphat, may strive, each according to his ability, to cooperate with Us towards the achievement of this purpose [the unity of the Church]. May all realize, too, that unity is not so much promoted by discussions or by other artificial means, as by the example of a holy life and by good works, especially those dictated by charity towards our Slav brethren and all other Easterners.
This, too, is the thought of the Apostle Saint Paul when he writes: "Be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment. Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory; but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves: each one not considering the things that are his own, but those that are other men's," (Philippians II, 2, 4).
If We begin in this way by reconciling individuals and nations with one another, there will come about at the same time unity for the Church, for then there shall return to her bosom all those who have separated from her, no matter what their motives for doing so may have been. The actual effecting of this unity will not be brought about by human effort, but only by the goodness of that God who "is not a respecter of persons" (Acts X, 34) and who "puts no difference between us and them." (Acts XV, 9) In such a union, all nations, no matter what their race, their language, or their liturgy, will enjoy the selfsame rights, for the Roman Church has always and religiously respected and preserved these liturgies. She has even decreed that they must be used, and she has adorned herself with them as with precious garments, like "a queen . . . in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety." (Psalms xliv, 10)
November 12, 1923
November 12, 1923
*Particularly bishops, to whom the letter was addressed.