How I Transferred From Frustration to Prayer on the Subway

Subway station tracks

How I Transferred From Frustration to Prayer on the Subway


After my wife and I were married we started looking for a place to live. I really wanted to live somewhere walking distance to work. Before we were married, I lived five minutes from work and because of this, I wanted to continue avoiding public transit at all cost.

I hated the morning commute. I had done it for Univeristy and never wanted to do it again, I just despised being on transit and would find myself always frustrated by the lack of comfort, the people, their actions, and my actions which became somewhat aggressive and selfish.

In the end the place we chose was not walking distance, but a commute on the subway. Now my commute is not nearly half as bad as the majority of Toronotians, but because of my distaste, it felt horrible.

For those of you that commute by car or do not have big city public transit, I’ll paint you a picture:

First you get shuffled into a station and stand at a platform as the train slows down you see there is a little bit of space; to the common person it looks full, but not to someone who needs to get to work.

Then you start to move in and have never tried to get so skinny in your life. You are gently pushing people, people are sometimes not so gently pushing you. Then you are shoved in like a sardine- people touching you, you touching people, and just tyring not to fall over, your whole body is against five other people, but yet you don’t say "Hi."

Then there are the delays, which happen pretty much every day.

All in all this can lead one to be upset with all of humanity in general.

The subway is a very easy place to become bitter, angry, and overly selfish. Just look out for your self, push, make room, get mad or frustrated with people, judge people.

One day after a frustrating commute I decided to start praying about it. While I was praying one morning, I realized that if people were going to expierence Christ on the subway that it was going to have to be through me.

Furthermore, I felt the Lord calling me to learn to be silent in the noise of the city. I had to learn to pray in this spot and let the Holy Spirit work through me.

I had to learn to pray in this spot and let the Holy Spirit work through me.

I thought to myself, "This is a great challenge! Can I be Christ in this setting? Can I keep my peace, keep calm and show his love?"

Over the past four months my morning commute has helped me grow in holiness. It has helped me grow and learn to be Christ in the city.

It is teaching me to look at others with joy, to be gentle and patient with people... oh, so patient... When I am being pushed to be calm; to look at places on the subway where I can move to make room for more people; when exiting saying “excuse me”; not to judge others actions, and not to assume I know what they are going through, but giving them the benefit of the doubt; trying to smile at people and be polite.

I am just trying to bring some joy to the commute.

I also started to listen to Pray as you go, an awesome 12-15 minute reflection on the daily gospel, which helps me grow closer to Christ in the noise of the city.

What I keep pondering to myself is, can I pray in this hectic environment? Can I pray in the noise?

Can you? 

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