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12/25/2001 A St. Jude Holiday Message                                     

This is the time of year when most of us find ourselves absorbed by two major holidays--Christmas and New Years.  These two special times have an extra bit of significance for anyone who has either prayed to St. Jude, is in need of help, or knows of someone in such a situation.

Christmas is a time for the giving and receiving of gifts.  For those of us who have been praying for relief from a financial, physical, or emotional burden, it's easy for us to despair when we haven't received an answer yet.  However, we must not overlook the special gifts that have been bestowed on us "in the meantime" of our waiting.  For someone praying for physical comfort, perhaps they are still struggling with an illness but have seen their life brightened by a special caregiver; for someone out of a job, perhaps they have had the opportunity to learn a new, interesting trade, or spend more time with a family they saw too infrequently before; for someone waiting for a departed mate to come back, maybe they have been blessed with a new inner strength and self-confidence.  We tend to overlook these gifts when they aren't specifically what we "asked for" when we pray to St. Jude for help, but they are powerful proof of God giving us the tools we need to make it through our difficulties.

Likewise, we shouldn't overlook the power we have to improve the situation or outlook of someone else who is going through their own desperate situation.  It could be just a word of encouragement, a shoulder when someone needs a cry, or a simple "I'm here if you need me" that could make all the difference to a person who has prayed for some healing.  It is clear that God wants us to be instruments for Him and His work, and that includes helping to give hope to those around us by our words and actions.  What a precious gift to give, and to be received!

With the new year right around the corner, it's also a time for reflection.  A time to look back and not only see what the preceding year has visited upon us in terms of challenges, struggles, and difficulties, but also to recognize the progress we have made in discovering more about our selves and each other.  It's easy to forget or downplay the little victories we have achieved in coping with our daily lives and see only the negatives, but we have much to be proud of, because with every day that we somehow find the strength to hang in there, we get stronger, we become truer  survivors, and we get closer to our goals.

And, as we look ahead to the approaching new year, we should seek to build on what we have already accomplished, and continue to refresh our hope in attaining the comforts we yearn for.  We must resolve to continue to be strong in our faith and our belief that with St. Jude and others praying for us, and God wanting to walk with us, we can do some pretty powerful things, even if the answers to our requests seem slow to come. 

Wishing you and all those close to you joyful and healthy
Holidays and all the best to you in 2002.

With Warmest Regards,

Daniel

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