Pope: In vulnerable, humble prayer, God changes us
Pope Francis recalled that vulnerability is truly found in moments of doubt. As an example he spoke of Jacob, a "self-made man" from the Old Testament, who didn't need anyone's help.
"Jacob didn't know what mercy was. It was him. 'Here I am, I command.' He thought he didn't need mercy."
However, his humbling moment arrived. He had betrayed his brother and felt he should reconcile with him, but his brother's reaction worries him. At that moment an unknown adversary appeared, whom he fought throughout the night. The adversary was God and leaves Jacob lame for life. And not only that.
"He comes out changed. For once, he is not the owner of the situation, his intelligence does not work. He can't be a strategist and calculating man. God returns him to his truth as a human who trembles and who is afraid. He changes his name, he changes his life, he changes his attitude.”
The pope explained that Jacob's combat with his adversary is a metaphor for prayer.
"That same night, fighting against the unknown, we realize we are only poor humans. I can even say: miserable. But, at the moment when I feel miserable, there is no fear. At that moment God will give us a new name, which holds the meaning of our life."
Through this example, Pope Francis pointed out that prayer is true when one is vulnerable. A proud person does not leave room for God.
Translation: Melissa Butz