Saint Jude Thaddeus

st.JudeSt. Jude was born into a Jewish family in  Paneas, a town in the Galilee portion of ancient Palestine, the same region that Jesus grew up in. His mother, Mary, was referred to as a cousin of Jesus’ mother Mary, while his father, Cleophas, was the brother of St. Joseph.  His own first name, “Jude”, means giver of joy, while “Thaddeus”,  another name he was called, means generous and kind.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, St. Jude travelled throughout Mesopotamia, Libya, Turkey, and Persia with St. Simon, preaching and converting many people to Christianity.  He was credited with helping the early creation of the Armenian church, and other places beyond the borders of the Roman Empire.

Around the year 60 A.D., St. Jude wrote a Gospel letter to recent Christian converts in Eastern churches who were under persecution.  In it, he warned them against the pseudo-teachers of the day who were spreading false ideas about the early Christian faith.   He encouraged them to persevere in the face of the harsh, difficult circumstances they were in, just as their forefathers had done before them. He exhorted them to keep their faith and to stay in the love of God as they had been taught. His inspirational support of these early believers led to him becoming the patron saint of desperate cases.

He is believed to have been martyred in Persia or Syria around 65 A.D. The axe or club that he is often shown holding in pictures symbolizes the way in which he was killed. Truly, he paid the ultimate price for his faith.  After his death his body was brought back to Rome and was placed in a crypt beneath St. Peter’s Basilica, which people visit to this day.

After his death, many turned to St. Jude for his intercession in prayer. Jesus inspired the devotion to St. Jude for St. Bridget of Sweden when he directed her in a vision to turn to St. Jude with great faith and confidence. In a vision, Christ told St. Bridget, “In accordance with his surname, Thaddeus, the amiable or loving, he will show himself most willing to give help.”

#MoralStory : Are you enjoying your coffee ?

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups. And then you began eyeing each other’s cups. Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. God brews the coffee, not the cups. Enjoy your coffee!

Moral of the story : The happiest people don’t have the best of everything.They just make the best of everything.



#ShortNews : President Obama: abortion is a ‘core constitutional right’

In a January 22 statement, President Barack Obama described Roe v. Wade as “a decision that protects a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health, and reaffirms a fundamental American value: that government should not intrude in our most private and personal family matters.”

Criticizing pro-life legislative efforts, he said that “I am deeply committed to protecting this core constitutional right” and that “the federal government should not be injecting itself into decisions best made between women, their families, and their doctors. I am also deeply committed to continuing our work to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, promote adoptions, and minimize the need for abortion.”

“Today, as we reflect on this critical moment in our history, may we all rededicate ourselves to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons,” he added.

#ShortNews : Salvation, not healing or teaching, is Christ’s greatest gift, Pope tells congregation

In his homily at a daily Mass at the Vatican on January 22, Pope Francis reminded the congregation that although Jesus can bring relief to those who suffer, the most important reality is that Jesus brings salvation from sin.

Commenting on the Gospel reading, which told of the crowds flocking to Jesus, the Pope observed that many people were looking for miracles, while others were hoping to hear a great teacher. Pope Francis said:

What, though, is most important? That Jesus heals? No, that is not the most important thing. That He teaches us? That is not the most important thing either. It is that He saves! He is the Savior and we are saved by him: this is the most important thing, and this is the strength of our faith.

The Humility that brings forth Repentance

In the words of blessed Gregory: “Gathering virtues without humility is like carrying dust in the wind.” Pride is the beginning of all sin; and equally, humility is the foundation of all virtue.

Learn to be truly humble, rather than falsely so, like those hypocrites who abase themselves to deceive, as Sirach says: There is the wicked man who is bowed in grief, but is full of guile within. “The truly humble man”, says blessed Bernard, “wishes to be regarded as worthless, not hailed as an example of humility.”…

You must refer all good to God and none to yourself, remembering that it is not your own power and the strength of your own hand that has obtained for you this wealth – for he made us, and not we ourselves. This realisation totally destroys such pride as would claim: “Our own hand won the victory; the Lord had nothing to do with it.”  Such was the pride that shut Lucifer out from the glory of heaven. Disregarding the knowledge that he came from nothingness, concentrating instead on his own beauty and splendour, and seeing that every precious stone was his covering, he was exalted by the pride of his heart. And since humiliation follows the proud, he was immediately hurled from the throne of his glory….

Whether in angel or in man, only humility is pleasing to God.