The highest prayer is the prayer to become a selfless instrument in God’s hands. As Saint Francis prayed, “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.” He prayed not to receive, but to give; to be freed of all selfishness and to be filled with selflessness. He prayed to be the servant. He prayed to see that every living being is his master in the sense, “Let me be the humble servant to uplift, to help and to care for all my brothers and sisters in this world.”
If you have boils on your body due to a blood disease, by putting some compress on the boils, you will get some temporary relief. But as long as the disease is in your blood, eventually there will be another boil and another and another. We have so many meetings—congressional meetings, United Nations meetings and altruistic meetings. They are trying to solve the problems of this world. Sometimes they can create some relief. But because there is still greed, pride, lust, envy, anger and illusion within the hearts of men, there is no question of peace. The disease remains.
Yes, we should also try to deal with the symptoms, but that’s not enough. People are throwing waste into the rivers, the lakes, the oceans and the air. It’s very good that we try to arrange some laws by which people don’t dump these things into the oceans, the lakes and the sky. But that is not the solution because eventually they’re going to dump it. What is the waste that they’re dumping in the air, in the waters and on the earth? It is simply an expression of the dirt that is in their own hearts. They have created all these filthy, horrible things because they’re motivated by greed.
Therefore, the only real solution is that there must be a change of heart. If we are not a part of the solution, we are a part of the problem. If our own heart is not being purified, then how will we help enlighten others? Therefore, we have to simultaneously deal with external realities of this world and try to make things better, but we must also know that the real solution is the purification of the heart, the unity of the soul with God. So the ultimate prayer is that we can be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about this unity and bring about this spiritual peace.[ change ] [ consciousness ]