There aren’t too many other wishes that I’d have for a genie other than for all Christians to be fully united as one Body of Christ. It’s silly how there are completely different churches that can’t seem to agree, yet they all claim to be following Christ. Heck, most of them even admit that they aren’t the one true Church. All this despite Jesus’ plea that we all be one!
The following is an essay called “The Unity of the Catholic Church,” by St. Cyprian of Carthage in 251 AD. He was martyred in 258 AD. Try to read the whole thing, it really is a quick and easy read, but if you don’t, the first 10 chapters hold the majority of the argument.
The following are some of the more significant quotes from it:
Does he who strives against the Church and resists her think that he is in the Church, when too the blessed Apostle Paul teaches this same thing and sets forth the sacrament of unity saying: ‘One body and one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God’?
This unity we ought to hold firmly and defend, especially we bishops who watch over the Church, that we may prove that also the episcopate itself is one and undivided.
Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined with an adulteress is separated from the promises of the Church, nor will he who has abandoned the Church arrive at the rewards of Christ.
He cannot have God as a father who does not have the Church as a mother.
The Lord says: ‘I and the Father are one.’ And again of the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit it is written: ‘And these three are one.’ Does anyone believe that this unity which comes from divine strength, which is closely connected with the divine sacraments, can be broken asunder in the Church and be separated by the divisions of colliding wills? He who does not hold this unity, does not hold the law of God, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation.
Who then is so profane and lacking in faith, who so insane by the fury of discord as either to believe that the unity of God, the garment of the Lord, the Church of Christ, can be torn asunder or to dare to do so? He Himself warns us in His Gospel, and teaches saying: ‘And there shall be one flock and one shepherd.’ And does anyone think that there can be either many shepherds or many flocks in one place? Likewise the Apostle Paul insinuating this same unity upon us beseeches and urges us in these words: ‘I beesech you, bretheren,’ he says, ‘by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing, and that there be no dissensions among you: but that you be perfectly united in the same mind and in the same judgement.’ And again he says: ‘Bearing with one another in love, careful to preserve the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace.’
If you’d like to read more of the Church Fathers, New Advent is an awesome resource.