Our Christian faith guides us well in our lifelong quest to embrace charitable love. The life of Christ and His apostles, as well as the lives of the saints, modeled this selfless love and the many ways such love unites us to God.
St. Jude calls us to our devotion, and by accepting his invitation we express, and achieve, a high form of charitable love. The hope we place in St. Jude for our very personal needs is precious; we hold St. Jude close in our hearts for strength, healing, and hope as we encounter life’s ups and downs. This is essential and a gift from God.
But our prayer life in devotion to St. Jude can and does also contain those charitable, tangible acts of loving kindness toward others in unconditional and self-sacrificial ways. Our prayers, our petitions, and intentions for others in need are an act of service, a selfless work of mercy as we offer others up to God in prayer for hope and love. Our tendency in St. Jude prayer, after all, is to ask, “St. Jude, Pray for Us”— with the communal “us” at the forefront of our prayer.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Charitable love in devotion to St. Jude provides an avenue for compassion toward others, a key ingredient in true self-gift. We accept that we may not necessarily see or know the fruits of our other-focused prayer, which sets this act of love apart from those where we see firsthand how our self-gift may be making a difference in another’s life.
Yet this is perhaps what makes our prayer such a high act of selfless Christian charity; the fruits of our prayer are taken on faith, without expectation that we should fully understand the mystery of their effect on others. Here our selfless love provides opportunity: to trust in Saint Jude, to take action in ways that we as devotees know how to do so well in prayer, and to share a sacrificial love that comes only from God.