Too often we look at obstacles in our lives and decide that they are insuperable, that there is no hope for us to overcome them. But as we prepare to celebrate the three-year anniversary of Pope Benedict's overtures to disaffected Anglicans on October 20, 2009, we should know that no cause is ever hopeless. If entire communities of Anglicans can reenter the Catholic Church, reinforcing the visible unity of the Church, then anything is possible.
So for our novena this week, I have chosen a popular short Novena to Saint Jude and the Sacred Heart. Saint Jude is the patron saint of lost causes; let us offer the novena not only in supplication but in thanksgiving for the historic turn of events in Catholic-Anglican relations.
Saint Jude's feast day is October 28; begin the novena on October 19 to complete it on the eve of his feast.
Saint Jude, help of the hopeless, pray for us!
(A stained-glass window of Saint Jude Thaddeus, Apostle, in Saint Peter's Cathedral, Rockford, Illinois. Photo © Scott P. Richert)