Prayer Service - Unity in Diversity

July-August 2010

BY: SR. MARY HADDAD, RSM, M.B.A., M.S.W.
SENIOR DIRECTOR, SPONSOR SERVICES, CATHOLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION, ST. LOUIS

CALL TO PRAYER
LEADER: Oh God, you reign over all nations and all peoples. All the earth reflects your beauty and bounty. Each culture and people shows us your glory. May we learn about you through learning about each other.

READING 1 1 Corinthians 12:13
We were baptized into one body in a single Spirit, Jews as well as Greeks, slave as well as free, and we were all given the same Spirit to drink. And indeed the body consists not of one member but of many.

READING 2 From Gaudium et Spes, 29
All human beings are endowed with a rational soul and are created in God's image; they have the same nature and origin and, being redeemed by Christ, they enjoy the same divine calling and destiny … Forms of social or cultural discrimination in basic personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.

RESPONSE
Adaptation of Psalm 72 taken from Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill

SIDE 1: Bring justice to the peoples, O Beloved, and your mercy to all generations. May the people be known for mercy, rendering justice to the poor. Let their spirits soar as the eagle, let joy abide in every heart.

SIDE 2: May you heed the cry of the poor, the young and the old, setting free all those in need, melting the hearts of oppressors.

SIDE 1: May we know you as long as the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. May we acknowledge you in the rain falling on the fields, like showers that water the earth.

SIDE 2: In our day may justice flourish, and peace abound, throughout all the nations. May every heart open to your love from sea to sea, from the River of Life out to the universe.

SIDE 1: May fears that imprison the people be brought to light, and rise from the depths. May the leaders of nations from all the earth listen to your word; May they spend time in silence before they counsel.

SIDE 2: May the leaders surrender to your love, and the nations serve the Most High. For you heed the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no friend.

SIDE 1: You have compassion on the weak, the downtrodden, and give them strength and hope.

SIDE 2: From injustice and oppression, you redeem their life; and precious are they in your heart.

ALL: Blessed be the Beloved, the One who dwells in open hearts, who guides us along the way. Blessed be you, who come in the name of love; may your glory fill the earth.

(Time for quiet reflection)

CLOSING PRAYER
ALL: Let your justice and mercy reign over all the earth, O God of all peoples. You called all creation into being and formed all men and women in your image. Let us never seek to dominate or exploit our sisters or brothers or treat carelessly what has been given to us as gifts. In everything we do may we give glory to you. Amen.

(Opening and closing prayers adapted from Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy)

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