Sisters believe in the power of prayer and the impact it has on their daily experiences

Blog Published: November 13, 2019
By Sister Teresa Joseph, FMA

Sister Teresa Joseph is a Salesian Sister in Mumbai, India. With extensive academic work from universities in Rome, she has taught university courses, held diocesan and congregational offices, revised catechetical texts, and launched many creative programs for teachers, parents, and students. Currently, she is animator of the community at Auxilium Convent, Lonavala. She takes every opportunity to work with children who live in the streets.

As a young novice, I knew that whatever grace I prayed for through the intercession of St. John Bosco, the Lord would grant. Over the years, I developed a culture of prayer prompted by a deep longing for the Lord and learned to entrust my ministry to God.

I saw prayer, accompaniment and empowerment help Sharon, the most timid girl in class, to become a promising head girl in school and the best graduating student of the year.

Prayer and the ministry of presence with a loving heart helped Dora, a young teenager from Rome who could not complete her licentiate thesis. We attended daily Eucharist together. I encouraged her, and she not only succeeded in that, but earned specialization in two other fields. She is now a happy and contented tourist guide at the Vatican Museum. Her mom embraced me with tears in her eyes, saying, "If my Dora is what she is today, it is all because of your prayers and guidance."

I have experienced the power of prayer moving my audience, creating positive vibes. Asked in 2017 to offer a reflection on the letter of Don Bosco from Rome in May 1884 at a Salesian Seminar for Missionary Animation and Formation in Thailand, I felt genuinely unworthy. But I surrendered to the Lord, spent more than three months in prayer and reflection, and saw my reflections welcomed joyfully and gratefully.

The next year, when I offered a retreat in Cambodia, I was sustained by the prayers of Sr. Caroline Menezes and the sisters of my community of the Mazzarello Youth Centre, Wadala.

My way of prayer is total surrender to the Lord, letting him have his way. Spontaneous prayer with and for others is very easy for me. The latest miracle I have seen with my own eyes was the joy on the faces of four women telling me how their husbands had given up alcohol after I asked the children and the mothers to pray with me to the Lord.

So my prayer life has much to do with my ministry, and it affects "the other" significantly, in the transformation of life and relationships! Yes, the Lord has done it. To him be all glory and praise.

Henri J.M. Nouwen said eloquently: "Christian life is not a life divided between times for action and times for contemplation. No. Real social action is a way of contemplation, and real contemplation is the core of social action."

We're delighted to bring you this blog from the monthly feature "The Life" courtesy of our friends at Global Sisters Report. This month "The Life" panelists reflect on the ways their ministry experiences and prayer life impact each other. Click HERE to read more blogs from The Life, GSR's monthly feature about the unique, challenging and very specific lives of women religious around the world.

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