St. Ignatius of Antioch tells the church in Magnesia, which had suffered from divisive politics, that God is not to be found in strife and division.
When I was with you, I shouted, I spoke with a loud voice, “Listen to the bishop, and to the priests and deacons.” Some suspected that I said this because I had inside information beforehand about the division caused by some among you. But he for whose sake I am in captivity is my witness that I had no information from anyone. But the Spirit proclaimed these words: do nothing without the bishop. Keep your bodies as the temples of God. Love unity. Avoid divisions. Be the followers of Jesus Christ, just as he is of his Father.
So I did what I had to do, as a man devoted to unity. And I should add that, where there is division and anger, God does not dwell.
God grants forgiveness to all who repent, if with one consent they return to the unity of Christ and communion with the bishop. I trust in the grace of Jesus Christ to free you from every bond of wickedness. So I urge you not to do anything out of strife, but according to the doctrine of Christ.
–St. Ignatius of Antioch, Magnesians, 7-8IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Does what I say and what I do promote unity or division in the Church?
Lord, King of peace, make me an agent of unity in your Church, and unite me with the whole blessed assembly of your faithful people.
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