On the Contrary Workings of Nature and Grace [III]
Nature is unwilling to be mortified, checked or overcome, obedient or
willingly subject. Grace mortifies herself, resists sensuality,
submits to control, seeks to be overcome. She does not aim at enjoying
her own liberty, but loves to be under discipline; and does not wish
to lord it over anyone. Rather does she desire to live, abide and
exist always under God's rule, and for His sake she is ever ready to
submit it to all men. (1 Pet. 2:13)
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 3 Ch 54
• 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles of Christ
Today the Church celebrates the feast of Sts Simon and Jude whose
names occur together in the Canon of the Mass and are also celebrated
on the same day. These two Apostles have been linked in name since the
early days of Christianity and some believe that this is because they
were relatives of Jesus.
St Simon in the Gospels is called “the Zealot” and this may indicate
that he belonged to that military group of Jews called the Zealots,
the last of whom committed suicide on Masada rather than surrender to
the Roman legions. Legend has Simon evangelising the area around
Edessa in Syria, where later a great school of theology arose. It is
also said, that after preaching in Egypt, he joined St Jude in
Mesopotamia and that they both went as missionaries to Persia and were
martyred there. Undoubtedly, their names are linked also because of
Jude was most certainly a cousin of Jesus and is mentioned in the
lists of the “brothers of the Lord.” In Luke he is called Jude and in
Matthew and Mark, ‘Thaddeus’ and is considered to be the brother of
James, the first Bishop of Jerusalem and the leader of the early
Christian community there – this is James the Lesser, not the brother
of St John. He is the author of the Epistle of Jude in the New
Testament, one of those called the ‘Catholic Epistles.’ It is believed
that the early translators of the New Testament from Greek into
English, sought to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and
subsequently abbreviated his forename. In iconography, , St Jude is
often shown with an image of his cousin, our Lord Jesus and a tongue
of fire over his head.
At the Last Supper, it was Jude who asked the Lord Jesus, why He did
not manifest Himself to the rest of the world and Jesus answered that
he and the Father would visit all those who loved Him, saying – “We
will come to him and make our abode with him.”
Jude is the patron of ‘hopeless cases’ and devotion to him, as the
advocate of impossible causes, is widespread throughout the Church. So
why is St Jude Thaddaeus the patron saint of desperate causes? The
traditional reason is rather simple – When one hears the name Judas
(Latin and Greek) or even Jude (English), one immediately thinks of
Judas Iscariot who betrayed our Lord. Therefore, a person had to be
desperate to invoke his name. Being so seldom invoked and reverenced,
St Jude is ready and waiting to hear the prayers of those who call
upon him. Ironically, he is probably the Apostle who is invoked the
most in prayer and the most memorialised in churches, with statues and
stained glass windows or other artworks.
It is a beautiful tradition, associated with prayer to St Jude, for
his intercession, to leave a copy of the prayer in a Church, or before
his Statue, Picture or Shrine, for someone else in great need, to
find. The prayer is usually prayed as a Novena.
Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? Here is the true token of a soul
absolutely perfect: when one has succeeded in leaving behind his own
will to such a degree as no longer to seek, to aim, or to desire to do
what he would will, but only what God wills.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own
selves. For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall
be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he
beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of
man he was. (James 1:22-24)
Prayer to St Jude
Patron of Impossible Causes
Most holy Apostle, St Jude,
faithful servant and friend of Jesus,
the Church honours and invokes you universally,
as the patron of hopeless causes,
of things almost despaired of.
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Help me, I implore you,
by that particular privilege given to you,
to 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,
tribulation and sufferings,
particularly ………………… (state request)
and that I may praise God with you
and all the elect forever.
I promise, O blessed St Jude,
to be ever mindful of this great favour,
to always honour you as my special and powerful patron
and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.
"Give perfection to beginners, O Father;
give intelligence to the little ones;
give aid to those who are running their course.
Give sorrow to the negligent;
give fervor of spirit to the lukewarm.
Give to the perfect a good consummation;
for the sake of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen."
--Prayer of St. Irenaeus.