Inviting the Spirit into this Moment
BY: CARRIE MEYER McGRATH, MDiv, MAS
DIRECTOR, MISSION SERVICES, THE CATHOLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION, ST. LOUIS
CALL TO PRAYER
Leader: We are a holy people called by God to serve in this particular moment with its particular burdens and trials. In the face of a pandemic, in the face of injustice and racism, in the face of all that weighs on us, we pray Come Holy Spirit, be with us now.
All: Spirit of God, alive in all peoples and all cultures, move us to seek out and cherish the voices we have not yet heard.
Spirit of God, resplendent in all your creation, embolden us to speak out and challenge individual and systemic injustice.
Spirit of God, dwelling in all places and all moments, make yourself known to us at the bedside, in the board room, in the streets and in our homes.
Leader: The dynamism, mystery, ferocity and power of the Holy Spirit are necessary today. Listen to the words of Pope Francis as you consider how the Spirit is moving in your heart.
Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here, too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict.1
A tension between disorder and harmony: this is the church that must come out of the crisis. We have to learn to live in a church that exists in the tension between harmony and disorder, provoked by the Holy Spirit. If you ask me which book of theology can best help you understand this, it would be the Acts of the Apostles. There you will see how the Holy Spirit deinstitutionalizes what is no longer of use, and institutionalizes the future of the church. That is the church that needs to come out of the crisis.2
All: We praise you, Holy Spirit, for the gifts of challenge and change that point us to the never-ending mystery of your goodness and glory. Help us to listen more deeply, to seek out and cherish different perspectives, and to work for a world of justice, peace and shared goodness. We ask that you walk with us, guide us and animate us with a love of others as you love them. Amen.
- Francis, Pentacost Homily 2013, http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20130519_omelia-pentecoste.html.
- Austin Ivereigh, "An Interview with Pope Francis, Commonweal, April 8, 2020, https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/time-great-uncertainty.
"Prayer Service," a regular department in Health Progress, may be copied without prior permission.