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St. Jude wasn't just the patron saint of lost causes. He was a symbol of the power of hope and prayer.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God...—Jude 20–21
One morning I woke up and there he was: St. Jude himself, sitting on my dresser, compliments of my mom, no doubt, who’d probably smuggled him in while I was asleep.
I was a teenager and not an easy kid to live with, especially for my mom, who spent most of her time worrying about me. So it was no wonder Mom, an old-school Catholic, turned to Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes.
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I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and glared at the nine-inch-tall statue. Hopeless cause, huh? I grabbed St. Jude, marched him out into the hallway and put him on a shelf where he wouldn’t bother anybody.
That night he was back on my dresser. This time I put him up on the highest shelf, so my mother would need a stepladder to retrieve him. Mom was undeterred; Jude returned to my dresser.
I knew better than to keep fighting this battle. So there Jude stayed, quietly watching over me until I moved on to college and finally started acting like an adult and a good son.
I hadn’t thought about that statue in years until the other day, when I ducked into a neighborhood church and overheard the sermon. “Today,” the priest said, “we celebrate the feast of St. Jude, often called the saint of hopeless causes. Yet I believe Jude is the saint of hopeful causes, because all who come to the Lord through him in prayer believe that even the most difficult problems can be made right by God.”
All these years later and I finally understood my mother. There were no hopeless causes, not even me at my teenage worst. There was only prayer and God and the infinite power of hope.
Lord, if You run into Mom up there, tell her thanks.
Excerpted from 101 Moments of Hope, by Edward Grinnan. Copyright © 2011 by Guideposts. All rights reserved.
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