Above: St. Jude Chapel on the campus of Aquinas College.
Always the Master Teacher, the Lord’s actions in today’s Gospel on the feast of the Apostle Saint Jude present a lesson regarding prayer.
Jesus is God, but when He is about to do something of momentous consequence He seeks out a place and dedicates a significant amount of time to prayer. He goes to the mountain and spends the entire night in prayer before choosing twelve and naming them Apostles.
Perhaps Jesus didn’t need to go to the mountain to pray about whom to select as Apostles, but He did. The action holds a lesson of momentous consequence for each of us.
When I need to make a decision, large or small, what do I do first? Is prayer the first thing I think to do? Is it the last thing I actually do, after all of my own efforts have failed? Is prayer even part of the process? Do I dedicate time and space for prayer?
We know that we should pray always. Indeed, it is a good practice. We know that merely multiplying prayers does not necessarily mean better prayer. Yet, it seems what Jesus is teaching us today is: Sometimes what is required is to go away to a place set apart and spend significant time in deep prayer.
Spending the night in prayer was a habit of Saint Dominic’s. He did not have a bed of his own and the brothers used to spy on him as he prayed in the Church all night. What did Dominic pray about? To whom did he pray? Dominic wept at the thought of what would become of sinners. He was zealous for the salvation of souls. Dominic had many matters on his heart to talk over with the residents of Heaven. We can be sure that he devoted his nights to communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Blessed Mother.
Saint Dominic, who spent your nights in prayer, pray for us.