I'm starting my novena to St. Jude today.novena, which is nine days of focused prayer, today so that this set of prayers and petitions ends on March 30. Which is just as my waiting daughter goes to the courtroom...specifically, when it is the night of March 30 overnight into March 31, my M will be talking with a judge in Addis Ababa and this judge will decide whether we all are officially family, in the eyes of the Ethiopian government and law. And then on Tuesday, March 31, we will get that phone call of good news or bad news. But I am hoping and praying for good news, hence, this novena.
Now, many folks are somewhat confounded by novenas. They are rather a Catholic thing, I'll admit. But then again, not so much. Here's the deal. (I know, I've spoken of this before, but well, who ever goes back to archives? No one.) You see, you all know, some of you more painfully than others, that I'm a beggar. I'm begging for any and all prayers this time to get our girl through court and visa and home. This is the same deal. It's intercessory prayer. But instead of my phoning my friends, emailing my other friends, begging on blogs, stopping strangers in the streets....this time I am also hitting up a saint. St. Jude Thaddeus, to be precise.
And I ask him for his prayers on this, because he, unlike those of us here on earth, is in heaven already. He has left his smudgy selfish self behind and all traces of that are gone. His heart is pure. Thus, he is a MUCH more effective pray-er than most anyone else I can ask, short of Christ himself (and yeah, I'm praying hard and having much discussion with him too, no worries on that point!).
And this intercession of the saints is one of the coolest things I can think of. It's just what I do for my brother with my folks, and what my kids do for each other with me. We go to the person who can help, on the others behalf. We petition. And stand in for each other and add our backing to that person's petition. And it helps. If only in the moral support, it helps. And that is exactly what a novena in our Catholic ways do too. Only we hit up a saint, for their support and prayers on our behalf. And it helps.
Prayer transforms, no matter if they are answered the way we hope or a different way that we can't understand yet. And that in itself makes the effort worthwhile.
So, I'm praying to St. Jude. He was a cousin of Jesus. He was a chosen apostle. He is a good egg. He is patron of impossible causes. I"m not saying our cause is impossible, but I"m saying, I've been fretting and there are hurdles and so I'm calling on St. Jude. He's helped me before, he is faithful.
And I'm gonna make you all nuts maybe because I'm putting the novena prayer up every day. I'll post other posts too, don't disappear entirely! But, if any of you want to follow along, you can read and pray it here. If not, I totally understand. Either way, if you have a mind to, any prayers at all on our M's behalf would mean the world.
March 31. We pray to pass court and visa and get her home in April.
Thanks to each of you and any passing thoughts or prayers!
St. Jude, pray for us.
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly -
That our daughter passes court and visa and comes home in April.
- and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.
May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.
May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen
St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.
Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.
(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)