ST. JUDE CHRONICLE|
A Message from Fr. Matt
Dear Friends of St. Jude,
The month of May brings many wonderful gifts. I think of the smell of lilacs after a rain - the blue of robin's eggs - the warmth of the sun. These are great gifts from our God who surrounds us with marvelous sights and sounds.
I think also of Mother's Day.
On Mother's Day we take time to honor our Mothers - extraordinary people who believed in us even before we were born - people who were willing to undergo intense pain that we might be brought to life - people who are concerned about everything that happens to us - people who deserve our thanks...and at least a dozen long stemmed roses!
But what if our own mother was less than the ideal described above? What if she is already dead? What can Mother's Day mean under those circumstances?
A very wise Dominican once told me "most people do the best they can". We do the best we can, but we have all been affected by original sin and have added to that our own history of sin. To expect more of another than of ourselves is unrealistic. To forgive others for the faults we find also in ourselves is one of the basic lessons Jesus came to teach us.
Even if our Mother is already dead, we can still "talk" to her - ask her to forgive us for the ways we disappointed her - tell her we forgive her for the ways she disappointed us.
So whatever our experience of Mother-love was like, Mother's Day is still a time to celebrate. Either we celebrate the good things we experienced - or we celebrate the freedom we experience when we forgive!
Jerome Matthias Walsh, O.P.
Mary Stood By
In the first chapter of Luke's Gospel we read: "I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say." Luke 1:38. This was Mary's response to the angel Gabriel's announcement that she was to be the mother of Jesus. I would now like to move to another scene thirty-three years later. "Near the cross of Jesus there stood his mother....Jn. 19:25.
I am very moved by the words, "stood by." So much happened from the time of the Annunciation to the Crucifixion. But always, Mary "stood by."
She stood by her adolescent son who left her and Joseph without telling them because he thought he had to be about his Father's business. She stood by him as he wandered into faraway, uninhabited places, following what seemed to be a wild man called John the Baptist. She stood by him as the admiring crowds grew to whom he proclaimed: "Who are my mother and my brothers? These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me." Mk. 3:33-35. She stood by him as the crowds waned and he looked at the bedraggled few who still remained and asked, "Are you too going to leave me?" She stood by him as the powerful opposition grew. She stood by him as he died on the cross.
There are so many things that we can do for people because of all the technology we have. Yet, sometimes we can't do much of anything. When someone we love is dying, when a child of ours is going down a wayward path, there is not much we can do but "stand by." But standing by is powerful in its own way. How happy it must have made Jesus as he looked down from his cross of pain and saw his mother. She could not remove the nails or lift the crown of thorns. But she stood by. She was there. Sometimes when a person is very ill the physician may tell the friends and relatives, "there is no more we can do." How wrong. We can stand by them!
"Standing by" is doing something. It is one of the most wonderful things we can ever do. Many young adults who reflect back on their childhoods say the one thing they wish is that their parents had "been with" them more.
As we celebrate Mother's Day we remember the wonderful mother of Jesus who "stood by" him through it all. What a wonderful model to encourage us.
In Christ's love,
Father Richard de Ranitz
Father de Ranitz is a part-time member of the Shrine of St. Jude Staff He also gives retreats and workshops on physical, mental and spiritual health.
FRIENDS OF ST. JUDE REPORT . . . WHAT GOD HAS DONE
- C.R., California
- I promised publication for the Saint Jude Novena, as once again Saint Jude has brought about another miracle. He not only helped me find my son who was put up for adoption, but brought him through a very successful back surgery. Thank you again St. Jude!
- This is to publicly thank God, St. Jude and St. Michael for all the times my prayers have been answered, and especially for my husband who had prostate cancer, all is fine now.
- L.W., Kansas City, MO
- Thanks to St. Jude for the many favors granted to me. I had inflammation of connective tissue under the skin of my feet. I couldn't walk, it was very painful. Thanks to the healing powers of prayers to St. Jude.
- C.S., Flint, MI
- I had to have a series of tests done as the doctor thought he felt a growth during my physical. After the tests were completed he sent me to a surgeon for a second opinion. I prayed to St. Jude that everything would be alright and it was.
ST. JUDE LEGACY CLUBThe St. Jude Legacy Club is our special way of recognizing those people who have remembered us in their will. On the 28th of each month, all the members are remembered in a Mass celebrated at the tomb of St. Jude in the Vatican.
FIRE AND WIND
Fr. Carl Trutter, O.P.
"There came a sound like a violent wind and tongues as of fire came upon them" Acts of the Apostles 2: 2-3.
Have you ever experienced a violent wind? I recall once driving to visit my parents. As I got closer to their home, I saw a number of tree branches on the ground. When I got to their home, one of the trees in their back yard had been uprooted...by a violent wind.
We have all sat and watched a forest fire on television. We realize that the fire is completely out of control, threatening everything that gets in the way.
Our experience of wind and fire is anything but comforting. Why are these images used to describe the coming of the Holy Spirit?
Perhaps we need to be reminded that the Holy Spirit is not all sweetness and light. The Holy Spirit also makes demands on us, sometimes pushing us where we would rather not go. The Holy Spirit challenges us to "let go and let God".
That certainly happened in the lives of the first disciples of Jesus. The Book of Acts describes how our ancestors in the faith allowed the Holy Spirit to re-make them - allowed the Holy Spirit to move them beyond where they were comfortable - allowed the Holy Spirit to lead them where they did not want to go [cf. John Ch. 21. v.18].
As we prepare for Pentecost, are we preparing to be "blown away" - praying that we be set on fire? Do the images of fire and wind still apply today?
Rosary, Novena Prayers Mass
Come if you can - or join in the
May 7-15, 1997
July 23-31, 1997
October 22-30, 1997