Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day and St. Jude

First off, thank you to all our veterans, men and women who have served and continue serving. Thanks to their families for sacrificing for our freedoms. It is a debt we cannot repay, but we are grateful. My grandfather, my father, my uncles on both sides of the family and my brother have all served this country, the greatest country on this Earth, and I am proud to be the mother of a son who is currently serving in the Navy. Honor the veterans, not just today, but every day.

The events at Ft. Hood last week are still shocking to me. I cannot imagine what the victims and their families are going through and I offer my prayers to all of them. When you think you're having a bad day, just wait, you'll hear or see someone who has it worse than you. We truly have nothing to complain about.

But I know there are times like these when you think things are hopeless and you can't make it through one more day like the day you just went through. Sometimes it gets worse, way worse, before it gets better. But there is something we all need to remember. It does get better. Maybe not as fast as we would like, but eventually, it does get better.

For those of you who don't know, I was raised in the Catholic faith, and while I am not a "practicing" Catholic, there is one remnant of my religious training I can't give up. His name is St. Jude.

St. Jude was a loyal follower of Jesus, and was martyred following a violent death. I was unaware the National Shrine of St. Jude is located in Chicago, Illinois, and when I saw the church it is located in, Our Lady of Guadalupe, I realized we had driven by there a few times when visiting my son after his graduation from RTC (boot camp), and when we visited over the Thanksgiving holiday last year.

Of course, most people relate St. Jude to the St. Jude Children's Hospital established by Danny Thomas as a fulfillment of a promise he made to St. Jude early in his career.

St. Jude is known as the patron saint of hopeless causes or when all hope is lost, or you have lost objects, it is St. Jude to pray to for assistance.

In the last few weeks, I have been praying to St. Jude a lot. I have lost some important things (yes, my mind is one of them), and felt at times things were as bad as they could be. In that time, I have also made some donations to St. Jude's National Shrine, as a way of saying thanks. Publication is also part of fulfilling your promise to St. Jude. Which is why, I am right now, right here, saying, "Thank you, St. Jude."

Now, for those who are thinking I'm bragging or showing off or just being blasphemous, this is not what this is. Some things have resolved themselves, some are still waiting for resolutions, but overall, I feel much better I have given them to St. Jude and God to help me. Sometimes, it's the best and the only thing you can do.

I believe for those, especially now, it's nice to find hope where you can, and if by sharing my story, you can help find peace, then I've done my job as a writer and a human on this planet.

Sometimes when things get so bad, surrender is your only way to survive. Surrending to a Power Greater Than Ourselves, is the way to go. He knows what is going to happen in my life, good, bad, or ugly, and it's not a sin to ask for help.

Surrender for survival is not showing weakness, it's giving you the chance to survive to fight another day. If you are in a fight you can't win, to continue to fight without retreat, is suicide. Pure and simple. It also depends upon the circumstances.

In my age of 40 years, I've learned to thank my circumstances. Good, very good. Bad, well, there's something I'm supposed to learn, and as painful as it is going through it, I know, I'll survive. I hope.

How can I not, when you have a saint on your side?

Thank you, St. Jude. Thank you.

Prayer to St. Jude

"O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, people honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (state your request) and that I may praise God with you always."

"I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you by publishing this request. Amen."

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