Prayer Service - A Prayer in Times of Discernment and Deliberation

March-April 2006

BY: SCOTT McCONNAHA, M.A.

Leader
We gather this day to express our commitment to the community we have been entrusted to serve. May God's presence be felt as we enter this conversation, fully aware of the challenges that may accompany our exploration of right and just actions.

All
May our discernment ultimately reveal to us and those we serve that, as members of this community, each of us is dependent upon and responsible for the others.

REFLECTION

"Discernment relies on intuition that has been informed by mature emotional dispositions. . . . Discipleship is not based on carefully calibrating actions to an objective standard, as though discernment were some sort of surveying process. We become disciples by committing our lives to the Lord and taking seriously what Jesus took seriously. His attitudes take root in our dispositions and emotions: inclusive love, compassionate service, radical trust in God, gratitude, forgiveness, courage, a thirst for justice, nonviolence, freedom from anxiety, dependence on God, obedience. While the practice of meditation nurtures these dispositions, they have to be lived out in order to become deep habits of the heart. . . . These dispositions together comprise a distinctive sensibility, rooted in the values of Jesus Christ, that is the basis of judgment for Christian discernment."

— William C. Spohn, Go and Do Likewise:
Jesus and Ethics,
Continuum, New York City,
1999, p. 153.

READING

You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God (Mi 6:8).

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect (Rom 12:2).

Leader
We ask you, Lord God, to be with us this day. Help us to remain committed to the ideals of this healing ministry to which you have called us. Please inspire each of us, individual members of this community, to contribute our wisdom and compassion to the betterment of those we serve.

All
Amen.

Scott McConnaha
Communication Specialist,
Catholic Health Association


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