Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An Impossible Situation

If you have been reading my blogs all along, then you might remember that back during Lent, I wrote some Sunday blogs on the Catholic church and some widely believed misconceptions. One of those misconceptions was how Catholics view Mary the Mother of Our Lord and how we use her and the saints in prayer. The belief that we worship her rather than honor her as the Mother of Jesus was discussed in detail. There seems to be the same misconception from those outside the Catholic faith that we "worship" the saints. There is a vast difference when you ask a saint to pray with you and for you as opposed to worshiping and viewing that saint as a supreme being or deity. Just to make it perfectly clear......Catholics like all other Christian faiths worship one God....the only God. End of discussion.

In a world where God is fast becoming a bad word and man is taking credit for all the good in the world while God only gets blasted for the bad, you have to wonder why He didn't just do us all in long ago and end it all or at the very least....start fresh with a new species that might in fact appreciate all His gifts. However, He did not and still has not. On the contrary.....He still sends us messages of hope and miraculous gifts so that people may still someday come to know Him. Lets face it....if you have lived past 20 then you have been witness to at least one miracle.....whether you choose to admit it or not. 

Like the Mary the Mother of Our Lord, throughout the ages....God has worked some of His most amazing works through man. He has chosen those that He knows have a special soul and who hold Him and His word in the highest regard and He has worked miracles through them. These special ones are called saints by the Catholic church and have to go through a rigorous testing by both man and the church before they are officially called saints. In death as in life.....they are tested.

While living, saints often have had a great devotion to God from their earliest years, but often their lives are anything but easy.  Many live in poverty or started with money only to ultimately chose poverty to better serve God. Often they are afflicted with illness or strife but never lose sight of God or their ultimate goal.....heaven. Saints are people who stand out to those around them as pious, usually very humble, kind and generous souls. They take any suffering they have and offer it up as a way to show God that Jesus suffering on the cross was not in vain.

Some saints have had miracles attributed to them in life. They themselves realize that the miracle does not come from them. It comes through them by God as an example that when we pray....He hears our prayers. God answers prayers every second of every day and many times they go unnoticed or the credit does not go to God but elsewhere, so sometimes He needs something big to get our attention and that is where these saints come in. They are His faithful who only wish to live their lives for Him. This world matters nothing to them only the next and they are put upon this earth to bring His name in prayer to the lips of all they can. Thus by working through them many have been brought to God.

After death is when these holy people start to be accredited for miracles. Sometimes it is at the time of their death and often it is before they are even buried. There have simply been too many miracles attributed to these people to be denied. The miracles are thoroughly checked out through not only the church but also through science. Sometimes it takes years before a person becomes a saint, but in our modern world even with all the skepticism and cynicism where miracles and all things God are concerned, there are things that happen that there is simply no explanation for....not scientifically or otherwise. It is these very acts that have caused conversions and complete faith in many people. And yes.....with saints and comes down to my favorite saying: "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, no explanation is possible."

As you can imagine in my home saints were called upon for intervening prayer my whole life. I have no doubt that David was a miracle. St. Pio, St. Theresa and St. Jude were called upon daily for prayers for my child who was beyond critical and expected to die at any moment. At times he had less than a 10% chance of making it through the day and each time he survived. His final critical diagnosis: The chances were in the 90% range that he would live the rest of his life on life support with no cognitive interaction with the world. In essence....a vegetable. As I walked from the NICU for the last time holding my baby who was going home on no meds, not tubes and no oxygen.....the head of the NICU told me....."You know he is a bona fide miracle? Right?" Of course I did and I thanked God and all the saints who joined in prayer with me.

The biggest issue those outside Catholicism have is the question of why we need the saints to pray for us? Why isn't it good enough that we ask God ourselves? The same reason that when we have an issue in our lives and we ask our friends and loved ones to pray for us. The more prayers the better and the closer the people who are praying are to God.....well even better. And why not ask those who God has obviously worked through in the past? It kind of just makes sense.

Of late St. Jude and I have been having some pretty in depth conversations. In life, St. Jude was one of Jesus Apostles (not to be confused with Judas who denied Him). St. Jude has long been called the go-to saint of the impossible. The late Danny Thomas the singer, actor and comedian who was a life long Catholic even built a hospital in honor of the great saint. The story goes that in his early years with a child on the way and no income coming in, Thomas put his last few dollars in the collection plate at church. Realizing after the fact that this was all the money he had, he asked St. Jude to pray for him and help him to find his way. Almost immediately Thomas's life turned around and he was well on his way to the successful career that we all knew. Thomas realized that without St. Judes intercession his life might have been very different, so he got friends and associates together and in honor of the saint who listened and prayed for him he began the building of what we now know today as St. Judes Children's Hospital. In that childhood cancer and research hospital because of Thomas's great devotion to his faith and the ultimate realization that God had once again used this saint to make the possible out of the impossible....tens of thousands of children have been treated and cured of childhood cancers that before they would have died of. Amazing!

As I said, of late the good saint and I have been in deep conversation. I have been praying, he has been listening and he too has been praying. Is my request in God's plan? I pray it is and I pray that with St. Judes help....what feels impossible to me will soon be another miracle in my life. There is a  novena (prayer) that you say daily for nine days, when asking St. Jude to intervene on your behalf. Once your prayer has been answered the request is that you publish the St. Jude novena in a public place. Often I have seen them in the newspaper classified section or on public bulletin boards. Every time I see one, I know that St. Jude has been busy praying. Today I am publishing his prayer here. prayer has not as yet been answered, but I have every faith it will and when it is......I will publish it again. Catholic or non-Catholic.....if you are in an impossible situation I urge you to say this simple pray each day for nine days. If your prayer is answered just repost the prayer. You don't have to say why or even attach your name to it. Just pay the prayer forward for someone else.

Just so we are clear, I am not here to convince you. That is not within my power. What I am doing is telling you what I know in my life has worked and I am opening a door for anyone in an impossible situation.

St. Jude Prayer for Impossible Times and Situations
Oh glorious apostle St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered thy beloved Master into the hands of His enemies has caused thee to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes thee universally as the patron of hopeless cases--of things despaired of. Pray for me who am so miserable; make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded thee of bringing visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need(state your need), that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly (mention your request), and that I may bless God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity. I promise thee, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor thee as my special and powerful patron, and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to thee. Amen

Say this day every day for nine days. When your prayer is answered, please publish or post!


Anonymous said...

Loved this. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

St. Jude and I are great friends too!