ROME, JAN. 26, 2012 ( Benedict XVI says that despite our divisions, Christians must look to the future with hope, accepting that victory happens in "God's timeframes.'"

The Pope offered this invitation Wednesday as he closed the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with vespers at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

"Despite experiencing in our days the painful situation of division, we Christians can and must look to the future with hope insofar as the victory of Christ means the overcoming of all that prevents us from sharing the fullness of life with him and with others," he said. 

The Resurrection confirms that God's goodness is stronger than evil and love overcomes death, the Holy Father reminded.

"The presence of the risen Christ calls all of us Christians to act together in the cause of the good," he said. "United to Christ we are called to share his mission, which is that of bringing hope where injustice, hatred and desperation dominate."

Benedict XVI declared that the goal of complete unity among Christians "has importance for the good of the human family" and is not a "secondary victory."

This is because "our divisions dim the luminousness of our witness to Christ," he suggested.


Alluding to the theme of this year's Week of Prayer, which centered on victory, the Pope noted: "In today's dominant culture the idea of victory is often associated with an immediate success. In the Christian perspective, however, victory is a long -- and in the eyes of us men -- not an always linear process of transformation and growth in the good. It happens in God's timeframes, not ours, and it demands of us a profound faith and patient perseverance."

"Even our expectation of the Church's visible unity must be patient and confident," he said. "Our daily prayer and efforts for the unity of Christians have their meaning only in such a disposition."

Nevertheless, the Pope clarified, "The attitude of patient waiting does not entail passivity or resignation but a prompt and attentive response to every possibility of communion and fraternity that the Lord grants us."

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