There are many reasons devotees offer prayer in devotion to St. Jude. We turn to him as our Patron who intercedes and offers hope, and we take comfort in the promise of the Solemn Novenas to ease burdens.
Perhaps we don’t often think, though, of our St. Jude devotion as a form of hospitality. And yet this prayerful relationship is very much an expression of the love of others that defines divine hospitality.
Prayer of any form, devotional or otherwise, is generous. Our prayer gives voice to God’s claim that we are reflections of Him. And our prayers for others—those whose needs we know intimately and those we only know from a distance—provide a holy pathway to help give other people something they need: God’s blessings.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
When we pray with St. Jude as our intercessor, we take prayer-as-hospitality to yet another level, because St. Jude prayer is always in communion with other devotees. Even if those others praying alongside us aren’t at the forefront of our minds and hearts, they are present. The courage required to carry out true hospitality is echoed in the courage we take to articulate our needs, and the needs of others, repeatedly to God. Novena prayer is inherently courageous! For each of the nine days of prayer, we come back again to St. Jude, to eliminate feeling discouraged and to enlarge our hope.
Our prayer is the bridge God uses to help solve the problems in our lives, to welcome us into His divine hospitality, and to show us how we too carry that hospitality to the world through even the quiet act of prayer.