The church is called by the Lord to serve the world so that the Gospel can be proclaimed “to the end of the earth.” Throughout history, as the world changed, the Church has been challenged to find new ways to successfully accomplish this mission. This has meant that in every era, the vocation to serve has looked slightly different from that in the previous era. Today, the Church is again seeking effective ways to minister to the People of God and to proclaim the Gospel. Consequently, the understanding of vocation is expanding. I offer this prayer so that we may both recognize and respond to God’s call to serve as ministers in whatever form that may take today. Let us never cease to pray for the Church’s ministers, not only to respond to the call but to have their gifts and their spirits constantly strengthened in their ministry.
Lord of Bounty, you have bestowed on humanity a great wealth of creativity, compassion and wisdom. Help us see the ways in which these gifts are manifest in your people and know the way in which each of us are called to use them for your Church in the service of your Reign.
Grant us vocations of creativity – vocations to prepare and preside at worship that inspires your children and glorifies you; vocations to preach and teach and write to reveal your Word to the world; vocations to sing and lead others in song, to accompany those who sing and to write music that is poetic and prayerful, joyful and reverent; vocations to draw, paint and sculpt in ways that lifts the spirit and points to you, who are Beauty itself.
Grant us vocations of compassion – vocations to heal broken hearts, spirits and bodies; vocations to listen to confessions of sin and offer your forgiveness; vocations to provide pastoral care and to accompany those on the margins of our church and community; vocations to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty; vocations in prisons, hospitals, sick beds and all places where souls are hungry for healing and understanding.
Grant us vocations of wisdom – vocations of leadership to recognize and co-ordinate the many charisms of community; vocations of teaching to share the abundant knowledge of the past and apply it today with prudence and insight; vocations to be stewards of the temporal goods which you have entrusted to us; vocations to speak and act as prophets buoyed by courage and anchored in good judgement.
Help us as a Church to foster, to feed and to recognize these diverse and vital vocations.
Help us as your beloved people to hear your call to serve you as ordained, vowed religious and laity, and to respond with generous spirits.
Christine Way Skinner has been a pastoral minister for thirty years and has recently begun a doctoral program in theology at St. Michael’s College. Together with her husband, Michael, she has parented six wonderful children. She has written a number of books for Novalis on living the Catholic faith for both adults and children.