KARLA KEPPEL, MA, MA
MISSION PROJECT COORDINATOR, THE CATHOLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION, ST. LOUIS
As a Catholic health ministry, we are called to be leaders in well-being — to embody it as individuals, to promote it among our colleagues and patients, and to advocate for it in our communities. CHA's ongoing ReNew Year campaign offers an invitation to abundant living, which we hope can be integrated across services, departments and facilities. Indeed, we consider it an invaluable strategy for holistic care and vocational living, especially as we continue to face burnout and staffing issues.
As you prepare to pray, consider: What does an invitation to holistic and rhythmic living mean for you in your current lived experience? How can you continue to deepen your practice, despite what can feel like the "tyranny of the urgent?"1
Let us pray.
A reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes. (Ecc. 1:3-10)
"What profit have we from all the toil which we toil at under the sun? One generation departs and another generation comes, but the world forever stays.
"The sun rises and the sun sets; then it presses on to the place where it rises. Shifting south, then north, back and forth shifts the wind, constantly shifting its course. All rivers flow to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they flow, the rivers continue to flow. All things are wearisome, too wearisome for words. The eye is not satisfied by seeing nor has the ear enough of hearing.
What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun! Even the thing of which we say, 'See, this is new!' has already existed in the ages that preceded us."
The Word of the Lord.
At its core, ReNew Year is an invitation to and reclamation of rhythmic living. It is a call to simplify and deepen our connection to God, one another, the world and our work. By dedicating time and space each week to mission, thoughtfulness, wonder, gratitude, focus and to being intentional about how we spend our weekends, we claim for ourselves what is important to us. Committing to it week after week, we develop a practice of mindful awareness wherein, hopefully, what we claim as important continues to deepen within us — it becomes engrained in our core. Our Scripture reading is a valuable reminder that, even as it feels like things are constantly changing, "nothing is new under the sun." While perhaps this invitation to intentional living is nothing new, renewal emerges out of the depths of continued reflection.
As you approach this call for renewal, take a breath. Pause. Consider what might need to be shed to make room for a deeper connection to God, one another, the world and our work.
Now, consider for yourself what wisdom these ancient words might offer you in your ministry and vocation. How are you called to be renewed in this season?
God of yesterday, today and tomorrow:
Grant that our repetition might bring resurrection and a renewed faith of Your work in the world.
May we experience the refreshment that only Your love can bring, that it might bring a deeper connection with You and one another.
In Your Holy Name we pray. Amen.
- Diarmuid Rooney, "Formation — A Spiritual Antidote to the Tyranny of the Urgent," Health Progress 99, no. 3 (May/June 2018): 92-95.
"Prayer Service," a regular department in Health Progress, may be copied without prior permission.