[Editor’s Introduction: Today marks the beginning of the Chair of Unity Octave (January 18-25) during which we pray for the conversion of non-Catholics to the Catholic faith. It was begun in the early 20th century by Fr. Paul of Graymoor (founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement) and Mother Lurana Wood.
Coincidentally, today is the feast of St. Cyril of Alexandria in the Eastern Churches. He was one of the greatest doctors of the Church during latter fourth century. He is renowned today for his writing on Christology.]
With justice, therefore, do we say that the final temple, the Church, will be more glorious. To those who are so solicitous for the Church and labor for its construction, Haggai declares that a gift will be made, a gift from heaven given by the Saviour. That gift is Christ himself, the peace of all men; through him we have access in the one Spirit to the Father. The prophet goes on to say: I will give peace to this place and peace of soul to save all who lay the foundation to rebuild the temple. Christ too says somewhere: My peace I give you. Paul will teach how profitable this is for those who love: The peace of Christ, he says, which surpasses all understanding will keep your minds and hearts. Isaiah, the seer, made the same prayer: O Lord our God, give us peace, for you have given us everything. Once a man has been found worthy of Christ’s peace, he can easily save his soul and guide his mind to carry out exactingly the demands of virtue.