St. Jude opens to us the very essence of courage, helping us to persevere through hardship by inviting us to draw closer to God through prayer that is rooted in hope. The encouragement and hope St. Jude offers us is based in the knowledge that God’s love for us is unconditional and always active.
To hope together in community with others is to encourage one another in optimism and faith. There is great courage to be found in offering special intentions for prayer and intercession as we do in our devotion to St. Jude. We write them down, which can be a good avenue to help us confront the realities of our lives and gain perspective on our challenges. Then we go another step further and send our petitions with our powerful prayers for encouragement and hope. This takes the courage of faith. Within that we are strengthened knowing we are connecting our focus and our requests for help to God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mary, St. Jude, and other saints . . . quite a cheering section! They receive our prayers and remind us they are with us. St. Jude’s unique role in carrying our prayers forward for us is also to remind us of the wisdom of great hope.
Courage is a natural aspect of hope, and hope is a natural aspect of prayer. And turning to God in prayer encourages us in deep and sometimes astonishing ways. Hope is a rich reward for our courage and faith. With a sense of encouragement guiding us in difficult times, we’re better able to stay positive, to not lose heart, and to give encouragement to others. This flow of faith, courage, and hope is at the center of our ability to share the love of God as He calls us to do.
"Be strong and courageous. . . . Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." — Joshua 1:9
"Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be people of courage; be strong."