In the Scriptures Jesus says, “watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.” With this starting point we may be able to discern what prayer is in light of the transformative action of the Holy Spirit.
As we strive for ever-greater holiness in Christian life, along the way we might be prone to find ourselves discouraged in prayer, whether because we do not find answers to our questions or because we do not perceive a concrete action of God in our lives. As a matter of fact, Jesus’ disciples sometimes found themselves lacking faith even at the very end of Jesus’ public ministry. In fact, we may understand a poor faith in the disciples as a consequence of an insufficient life of prayer. Nevertheless, they further witnessed their gradual transformation through the supportive effect of prayer.
It is through prayer that Jesus readies himself to choose His future disciples, but at its core, it is through prayer that He enables himself to guide His disciples to seek the Kingdom of God. It is through prayer that Jesus asks for discernment to do God’s Will, and even at some point, He is found praying for His friends. Jesus builds up His Church grounded on the imperfections and frailties of His disciples. Through all His miracles, words, and deeds Jesus encourages His disciples to center themselves in prayer to not be overcome by difficulties down the road.
Since it has been in the blink of an eye that my first year has passed by, this message to remain strong in faith rings out in my mind as I am starting my second year of formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary. At this point, Jesus invites me to persevere in a life of service and givenness based on a profound and solid experience of prayer. Through the act of prayer God gradually perfects our fragile nature, but above all, He brings hope and joy to our lives regardless of the circumstances of the moment. Furthermore, through prayer God crystalizes our faith to fully comprehend the glory of Jesus on the Cross. Thus, prayer becomes a pivotal and vital element in Christian life. This little step enables us to imitate Jesus’ actions, but even more, to embrace His love as the way to become other Christs on earth. May we submit ourselves with love and generosity to God’s plan by imitating the vibrant faith of Jesus.