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Prayer​ is Your ​Power against Fear | Fr. Phillippe ​Angelo Garcia​

Reflection on the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time

What is your biggest fear?

In every aspect of our lives, we face fear. We face it to learn from it. We face it to end it.

But there are types of fear which stay for a long time: the fear of being sick and dying, the fear of losing someone you love, and the fear of failing or simply feeling that you are not enough.

As your priest-servant, this has been a common topic whenever people would freely open up about their lives to me. People ask these common questions: “Father, feeling ko hindi ako sapat. feeling ko hindi ako magaling, napag-iwanan na ako. Matanda na ako pero hindi alam kung bakit ako ganito.” “Father, lagi nalang po ba akong mabibigo?” “Father, bakit po ba ako ganito? Pagod na akong masaktan.” (Father, I am not enough. I am not good. I have been left behind. I am old but I don’t know why I am like this. I am always a failure. I am tired of being hurt.)

When we look at the essence of our prayers, we will also notice that most of them are coming from our fears in life. We hope and pray that when we will be facing these fears, we will be able to win against them. But whatever fear we have in life, we must hold on to the words from the Gospel of Saint Matthew, “Do not be afraid”.

Our first reading consoles us as well. The prophet Jeremiah writes, “The Lord is with us like a mighty champion…” In other words, our fears in life are consoled by the mercy of God.

Fr. Rolheiser states the view that we should fear not because we are inadequate. We may be inadequate because it is God who completes us. We may not be content in life. There are times when we will feel that we are not enough.

But we must remember that we are mere instruments of God; we are not God.

We may not be perfect but this should not stop us from trying. This should remind us that we are created by God. We are in need of God's mercy.

This makes us true to our identity. We are created in God's image and likeness.

Therefore, it is truly human to need and be connected to God. This gives us an image that our relationship with God makes us stronger. It makes us conquer our fears. It makes us more human.

Prayer is powerful because it makes us at home with God.

Dr. Tan Cho-Chiong, a neurologist, shared that a scientific study confirms the importance of prayer life or religious exercises in terms of mental health problems. The study states that people who are active in religious exercises have a faster recovery than those who are inactive in religious exercises. Dr. Tan Cho-Chiong views spirituality as a healthy “coping strategy”.

This tells us that praying makes us a better person. It may not remove our fears directly. But it surely reminds us that once we face these fears in life, we are not alone.

God is with us. Do not be afraid!

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