Prayer and transformation


Prayer is a means towards conversion and transformation.

For prayer to be authentic it must bring about transformation, which must first come from the recognition of the need to be transformed.

This recognition is brought about by the storms that come to our lives. When we are open to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives then recognition of what needs to be changed can become easy.

When we are shaken we begin to see what needs to be changed. When a house built on top of a hill gets toppled by strong winds, a wise engineer would ask the reason why the house fell down. He investigates, looks for the problem, come up with a solution, and then rebuilds the house with the solution in mind.

Is the foundation strong enough? Are the materials able to withstand the strong winds? Or is the area really not the ideal place to put up a house? Maybe one needs to plant trees around the house to break the wind? Or perhaps there is a need to redesign the house in such a way that the wind would simply brush through it.

Once we recognize the problem, there must be the acknowledgement of the problem.

Yes, this is the problem and something must be done about it. To acknowledge that there is a problem can be hard, because most of the time this would lead us out of our comfort zones. That is why, many choose to be blind, comfortable with the status quo until finally they themselves get hit by the problem.

In our parish in Bataan, one of the problems of the community is the quarrying of boulders, which is being sold to a resort that is supposed to be benefiting the town, economically. The people in the community do not want to recognize the problem, no matter the noise we make. Urging them to act on the problem seems to be difficult because as of the moment they have not experienced the consequences of the quarrying and it would be a burden for them to participate in any action against it.

In 2011, Typhoon Sendong caused massive flooding in the island of Mindanao, killing thousands of people and leaving thousands more homeless. Environmentalists blame illegal logging and mining as the cause of the flooding. In December 2017, the same places got hit with massive flooding, again environmentalists pointed out to the same problem, illegal logging and illegal mining.

Recognizing the problem is not enough, but to acknowledge that there is a problem would lead to an acknowledgement to act, to do something, which brings us to the third part, acceptance.

Accepting the problem and admitting our feelings of the coming change allows for a smoother transition. When we keep on denying the discomfort we feel for the upcoming change, for our venture outside of our comfort zones, of what we are used to, then expect a storm to hit as we hit the gas on our journey towards change.

There must be the resolve to change, but the resolve will not be reached if we don’t accept that there is a need for us to change.

Accept that you are afraid, or disappointed, or angry that you have to change your routine. Name your feelings and then when you have given them names, realize how you should respond to them.

Truly, metanoia, or the change of heart, of perspective, does not happen with the blink of an eye. It doesn’t happen overnight, and definitely it is not a walk in the park. Change can be difficult, but this difficulty can be overcome through prayer.

A quote attributed to St. Mother Teresa goes: “The fruit of Silence is prayer. The fruit of Prayer is faith. The fruit of Faith is love. The fruit of Love is service. The fruit of Service is peace.”

When we go into silence we will be brought into prayer, and when we pray, we will experience peace, because somehow, that change could happen.

So, the next time you feel that there is a need for you to change something, try praying and be open to the Holy Spirit to work in your life.

But remember, as this quote of St. Teresa of Avila posted in Twitter that I've been tagged reminds us:


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