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Paul-Werner Scheele, Ein Leib-ein Geist: Einfuhrung in den geistlichen Okumenismus.

Paul-Werner Scheele, Ein Leib-ein Geist: Einfuhrung in den geistlichen Okumenismus. Thema Okumene 4 (Johann-Adam-Mohler-Institut). Paderbom: Bonifatius, 2006. Pp. 122. 13,90 [euro], paper.

Scheele, Bishop-Emeritus of Wurzburg and member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, offers this little volume to remind us that the heart of the endeavor for rapprochement of Christian communities is "spiritual ecumenism," i.e., joining ourselves to Christ in search of the unity only Christ can give.

In 2007, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, published A Handbook of Spiritual Ecumenism with much the same intention. Inspired by the documents of the Second Vatican Council as well as the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, Ut unum sint, both works demonstrate the primacy of the inner attitude of joining oneself with heart and soul to Christ's high-priestly prayer in Jn. 17:21, "that they may all be one." Scheele's work is an "introduction into spiritual ecumenism"; Kasper plays the same melody, with minor variations and emphases. They both insist on the deep need for union with the prayer of Christ.

While the answer to Christ's prayer can come about only by the grace of God, Scheele shows ways in which this prayer can enter Christian consciousness at multiple levels, from individual to communal. Prayerful listening in common to the Word--whether in catechesis, liturgical prayer, preaching, or study--is an important aspect. Finally, contributions of all levels touch on family, parish, diocese, episcopal conferences, religious orders and movements, and even social and political groups. This volume will do much to inspire many. May its wisdom be translated and shared.

Helen Rolfson, O.S.F., School of Theology/Seminary, St John's University Collegeville, MN
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Author:Rolfson, Helen
Publication:Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2008
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