Prayer Service - Discipleship for Mission

July-August 1998


"A hand moves, and the fire's whirling takes different shapes...
all things change when we do."

Kukei, an eighth-century Zen master

Call to Prayer

Leader O God, your love ignites our hearts, captures our imaginations, shapes our dreams, and awakens possibilities.
All Make us disciples on fire with your love that we may bring good news to the afflicted, liberty to captives, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed. Help us, God, to enkindle in others a sense of hope that transformation is possible. Amen.
Reading Mission, in the sense of foundation or origin of the ministry, is a broad concept. It refers to the MISSION of the Church, which is realized in part through the healing ministry. The Church is called to be God's healing and reconciling presence in the world — to continue Christ's healing MISSION by serving the sick, the suffering, and the dying. The Church is also called to influence the social conditions that contribute to illness and suffering. This fact — that the mission for the organization comes ultimately from the MISSION of Jesus and the Church's ministry — provides meaning and a special energy to Catholic healthcare.
    Mission-Driven Market Strategies: Lessons from the Field, The Catholic Health Association of the United States, St. Louis, 1998.
Response (alternate sides)
When the heart is on fire, light comes from within. With the eyes of an enlightened heart we can see the hope to which we are called. By responding to the call to work in Catholic health ministry, we proclaim that the quest to be a radical healing presence for God is the fire of our lives.
The path to seeing with the eyes of the heart is discovered in the journey of discipleship. It is not an easy journey. It is an ongoing effort to live the gospel with integrity — trying, sometimes succeeding, often failing, recognizing the need for forgiveness and then trying again.

Discipleship is a way of being in the world that affects every relationship. Disciples shape one another according to the action of the Spirit in their lives. The energy of the disciples flows from faith in what is unseen yet believed. At its very core, discipleship is a call to a love so radical that it never gives up on God, one's neighbor, or one's self.

Disciples are called to love well, as Jesus did, with hope, truth, fidelity and compassion. This leads inevitably to taking a stand with the Christ of the paschal mystery who willingly laid down his life in love so that all may have life in abundance.
All O God, one of the best things we can do for ourselves, our organizations, and your people is to become fire. Kindle our hearts as we prepare to step into the next century. May each of us and all of us together carry with us the healing, transforming, and liberating gift of an inflamed heart.
Sr. Anne Munley, IHM, 1997 LCWR Presidential Address, Rochester, NY
What things in the organization help to kindle my fire for mission?

What nurtures my call to discipleship?

May God the Father who made us bless us.

May God the Son send his healing among us.

May God the Holy Spirit move within us and give us eyes to see with, ears to hear with and hands that your work might be done.

May we walk and preach the word of God to all.

May the angel of peace watch over us and lead us at last by God's grace to the Kingdom.

St. Dominic
  Suggested music

"I Am for You" and "Mission Song," by Rory Cooney, GIA Publications, Chicago, 1993.

"Be Light for Our Eyes," by David Haas, GIA Publications, Chicago, 1985.

"We Are Called," by David Haas, GIA Publications, Chicago, 1988.

  "Prayer Service," a regular department in Health Progress, may be copied without prior permission.

This prayer service focuses on discipleship for mission. You may use this service at meetings or on any occasion when you wish to take a moment to reflect on the mission of Jesus. Feel free to adapt the service to suit your own needs.

Sr. Barbara McMullen, CDP
Senior Associate, Sponsor Services
Catholic Health Association, St. Louis


Copyright © 1998 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.