Perhaps the most important foundation to the spiritual practice of hope is prayer. Prayer is the primary way we open ourselves to God, and God opens Himself to us. Prayer is the fuel for the engine of life, hope brings good outcomes that are unlimited.
Intention gives ever deeper meaning to prayer. St. Jude devotion encourages special intentions because of the focus devotees place on what we bring about in prayer. Rather than holding on to hope only in good times, devotees focus their intention on hope at all times.
“Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit. . .”
So also bring special intentions for healing, for employment, for faith, in times of family strife, for peace . . . all of this inspires, and drives, hopefulness. That hopefulness, in turn, becomes action as we seek strength, patience, courage, and all of the qualities that make up a person of hope. Our goal is to believe and discover that all is well. We are buoyed up in hopefulness by the knowledge that we have done the best we can, no matter what happens.
What we intend is the spiritual practice of hope that allows us to see signs of hope all around us. In our prayer to St. Jude, we have a friend to help us to consider those signs. We need to look at the signs around us. They can be deceptively simple. In other people, we encounter signs in smiles and kind gestures, in helping hands, in prayers and thoughts promised, in courage. In the natural world around us there are signs of hope and rebirth virtually everywhere we look. A bud on the tree or the full moon glowing in the sky become portals to God’s creative goodness and signs of hope as we strive to keep hope alive, in practice, always.