Saint of the Hopeless

October 28, “The Saint of Hopeless Causes” St. Jude and St. Simon Eph. 2:19-22; Luke 6:12-16

Today is the Feast of St. Jude, the saint of hopeless causes, and I often think of him when people are asking me about my “success stories.” Tonight I spent several hours with “Jude”:, 19, a young man who has a history of drug abuse and mental illness, much of which my guess comes from his struggle with his sexuality. He prostitutes to make extra money. As I listened tonight I saw in him the long line of young men I have sat with through the years, and I saw me in him so many years ago. He commented, “sometimes I simply want someone to listen to me,” and I thought of how far away we have gotten away from listening today. Our texts, our emails, face book etc remove us from face to face human contact. I remember a book by Taylor Caldwell many years ago entitled The Listener, whose basic theme was that what people needed most was someone to listen to them, and how that book influenced my ministry from its very beginning, and still influences it. We are too busy trying to fix things, too busy building our churches or our careers that we fail to listen. I am often asked, “how do you meet people on the street,” as if it is some great tool you have to have–the answer is simply–I talk to them and listen, and believe me if you listen you get people’s attention. I spend 99.9 per cent of my time listening. St.Jude is the saint of hopeless causes–I believe that in that hopelessness the greatest gift we can give is to simply listen. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Note: Names and ages i use are always changed.

VegInspiration
Because of our herding orientation and our unassuaged guilt complex due to the misery in our daily meals, we have warped our sacred connection with the infinite loving source of our life to an ultimate irony: comparing ourselves to sheep, we beg our shepherd for mercy, but since we show no mercy, we fear deep down we’ll not be shown mercy either and live in dread of our inevitable death.

We bargain and may proclaim overconfidently that we’re saved and our sins are forgiven (no matter what atrocities we mete out to animals and people outside our in-group), or we may reject the whole conventional religious dogma as so much absurd pablum and rely on the shallow materialism of science. However it happens, our spiritual impulse is inevitably repressed and distorted by the fear, guilt, violence, hardness, competitiveness, and shallow reductionism that herding and eating animals always demands. Dr. Will Tuttle

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