BY: SR. BARBARA McMULLEN, CDP
Call to Prayer
Creator God — God of our hoping, God of our dreaming — you are the great dreamer.
You fill us with hope; you call us to deeper hope, to dreams still undreamed, and to visions still becoming. Awaken us to a deeper way of seeing. Awaken us to a brighter vision that our organization may be a place of healing, peace, and hope for all. We ask this in faith. Amen.
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with patient endurance.
"Hope begins where hope begins." (Jon Sobrino) Sobrino's words seem to express that great mystery at the core of human freedom and responsibility, that mystery we name hope. Without it we do not live. Indeed, wherever there is life there is hope. Traces of it are found each time we take the next step. Because of its light, we turn the page and we are able to look from one moment to the next. It looks to a future that can come only as a gift. It begins where it begins. And hope, the deep-down kind, has no end. It is like faith. It is no less than love.
- What words of hope does Jesus speak to me? To our organization?
- How does our organization speak hope to others?
Creator God, increase our hope. (alternate stanzas)
- Hope is the very condition for the possibility of believing and loving. (response)
- Hope is the capacity in each of us that is open to God's truth and love. (response)
- Hope is the dynamism that carries us from now to then, inclining us to look from the present to the future, from what is to what is still to come, and on to what might yet be. (response)
- Hope is the driving force of all human initiative, the undercurrent of all human activity. It looks for the coming of the new, that which has never been before. (response)
Creator God, help us to understand more deeply this mysterious reality called "hope," which comes only as a gift from you. Continue to stir up hope in our hearts. May it find a home in us and room to grow so that our life may speak of one long season of hope. We pray in confidence. Amen.
Adapted from Hope Begins Where Hope Begins, Michael Downey, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY, 1998, pp. 16, 68, 125.
"Everything Will Live," by David Haas, GIA Publications, Chicago, 1995.
"You Will Find Me In Your Heart," by David Haas, GIA Publications, Chicago, 1995.
"I Am For You," by Rory Cooney, GIA Publications, Chicago, 1996.
This prayer service focuses on the virtue of hope and its practice in our lives. Feel free to adapt the service to your own needs.
— Sr. Barbara McMullen, CDP, is executive director of the Women of Providence in Collaboration and consultant for Prayer and Liturgy Resources. She can be reached at Providence Center: 314-209-9181.
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