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Reflections Upon the End of a Novena …

Today was the last (ninth) day of my novena to St. Jude. When you mention St. Jude, most folks will know him as the patron saint of lost causes. This is true, but it is equally important to note that he is the patron saint of hope, a fact that is often overlooked but of extreme importance. When you feel, as I had been feeling, that your situation is dire and demands desperate measures, you most often have little hope left. You may feel that you have no control over your life and everything you do is pointless. Hope — the belief that things may improve, that we will be happy again, that what we do makes a difference — gives us the strength to get out of bed in the morning. When you hope, you anticipate results and plan and design and work and work some more to make those results happen. Without hope, life is just a free fall and we can not grab onto a branch. Everything becomes pointless.

I was having absolutely no luck finding steady work that would support me. Frankly, I began to view myself as unemployable. I was not even getting responses or interviews anymore. I questioned where I went wrong. I kept plugging along, but I no longer anticipated any positive results — and I no longer got them.

I started the novena and within four days I was contacted by two recruiters (henceforth unknown) about jobs. One lead fizzled out but the other generated an interview (and it was a great interview!) I also got a call directly from an employer and scheduled another interview. I truly believe that St. Jude not only heard my prayer but went to work overtime — I have been contacted about jobs that don’t fit me but that would be perfect for other folks I know. I had been feeling so isolated and forgotten for so long but am now reminded that there is a whole community of folks looking for work. Being able to find work and to help others find work has made me feel productive and, yep, hopeful. I have got back that spark that helps me face the day and meet challenges and help others do the same. It is as if I have stepped back into the world again. I thank St. Jude for returning the fire and desire to my days.

As of now, I do not have a job, but I have hope and faith. I placed faith in St. Jude and he restored my faith in myself. What a difference nine days can make.

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