Prayer Service — Cherishing the Gift

January-February 2004


In her article "Budgeting as Theological Reflection," Sr. Patricia Talone, RSM, notes that in the organization's resource allocation processes, units must reflect on their mission, their strategies for furthering the mission, and the resources at their disposal to achieve their goals. In this prayer service, people serving in the health care ministry are called to reflect on their individual resources and how those gifts contribute to the common good.

Call to Prayer
We who continue Christ's healing ministry commit to steward resources wisely. Often, this commitment to good stewardship brings to mind practices of budgeting, resource allocation, financial management. But a holistic understanding of stewardship comes from a recognition that all we have—material things and human capacities, tangible and intangible—are gifts given by a gracious and loving God. Our commitment to wise stewardship applies to organizational resources but must extend to the gifts each of us has been given, including one's skills, ideas, indeed even one's life itself. Just as financial resources are used in the ministry for the good of the communities we serve, so, too, we cherish, protect, and contribute our individual gifts for the common good.

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, and another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. —1 Cor 12:7-11

Think of a recent experience in which you did a good job, accomplished a goal—big or small—or just felt good about your own contribution in your work. Hold that experience in mind as you reflect on these questions:

  • What skills did you demonstrate? Did you work with your hands? With tools or equipment? How proficient are you in these skills? What senses did you use?
  • What knowledge did you employ? Did you consult books, reports, charts? Did you turn to other people who have information you needed?
  • How did you gather the knowledge you used? Through formal education or training or through informal learning (e.g., observing others, reading)?
  • What creativity did you show? Did you get an idea "out of the blue"? Was it a matter of listening to your intuition?
  • Which other people participated in this experience? How did your relationships with these people contribute to the outcome? How were the relationships changed by it?
  • In this instance, how did the contribution of your talents, ideas, relationships further the healing mission of Catholic health care?
  • In this situation and throughout your work in the ministry, how did/do you restore yourself, maintain and increase your skills, expand your knowledge, nurture your relationships?

Closing Prayer
Generous God, who is Creator and Giver of all that we have, we stand now and always in profound gratitude.

We bless the abilities you have given to each one of us, those we often take for granted and those that seem rare and remarkable. For all these gifts, we thank you.

We bless the knowledge you have given to each one of us, the teachers you have sent us, the ways of knowing that you have embedded in our minds and in our hearts. For all these gifts, we thank you.

We bless the opportunity you have given us to be a conduit of your healing, to join with other caregivers in this mission, to share a sacred, reciprocal trust with those who look to us for cure and care. For the call to this ministry, we thank you.

Lord, your perfect love for us is manifest in the universe of gifts you give. In our imperfection, we accept these and all your gifts and commit to steward them with reverence, employing them for the good of all. Amen.

Ed Giganti
Senior Director, Ministry Leadership Development
Catholic Health Association

Copyright © 2004 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Prayer Service - Cherishing the Gift

Copyright © 2004 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.