08 January 2021


Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up”. (James 4:10)

Here we are again in what a lot of people are calling 'Lockdown 3.0'. We are once more finding ourselves at home and not allowed out - apart from excercise and shopping. This is so that we can keep the communty safe and make sure less people end up in hospital. My wife is an A&E nurse - it's tough in there at the moment - so we can feel proud that we are all doing something to help with the greater good to stop the virus spreading. However, it is important to remember those who can't be at home, because they need to be at work and keep things going: the teachers, nurses, doctors, postal workers, and two of our Shrine Office staff. Each week, we will focus on one of these groups.

However, as before, Saint Jude is our friend and theirs. He is a saint of hope.  Let us pray together each Friday until we can once again come out of a lockdown.

It is still possible to pray at the Shrine of Saint Jude online via our webcam, organise a Mass, and many pilgrims light 'virtual' candles to Saint Jude  – which the friars will light for them physically in Faversham. Indeed, the Carmelite friar communities across Britain pray for the friends of Saint Jude daily. 

“When I pray, I don’t always get what I want, but I get what I need. In vocal prayer we go to God on foot. In meditation we go to God on horseback. In contemplation we go to God in a jet.” (Venerable Fulton Sheen)

In one of his reflections, Fr Kevin wrote: “We do not need to tell God what the world is going through nor what is happening in our lives – He knows already! Yet there is a great value in ‘telling the story’ to get it off our chest. When we then reflect on how we feel after telling God our woes, it may be that something has changed within us....all are ‘answers’ to prayer but maybe not the ones we were expecting”. Read the full reflection here

How true that is. A friend of mine once said that even if you run out of time to pray just say a quick one: ‘Thank you God for this day, I will try and make it an even better one tomorrow’. Just a little chat to God daily is a good thing for us all. In addition, wherever we are, we remain together in prayer.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him”. (John 5:14-15)

As the old saying goes: ‘those that pray together, stay together’.

“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it”. (1 Corinthians 12:26-27)

This week, I would like to pray for all nurses: 

Dear Lord,
Please help all nurses to receive the sick in your name.
Give their efforts success for the glory of your holy name.
It is your work: without you, they cannot succeed.
Grant that the sick you have placed in a nurse’s care may be abundantly blessed,
and not one of them be lost because of any neglect.
Give our nurses grace, for the sake of the sick ones
and of those lives that will be influenced by them.

I would also like to pray for all those who are sick, including Fr Kevin Alban and Mrs Angela Bergstrom-Allen.

Saint Jude, pray for us. 

Let us pray...

Lord Jesus Christ, when I am uncertain about what I should do, guide me along your path. You keep my path straight. When I don’t know which way to turn, teach me your paths. Help me to be attentive to your voice as you guide me through life. Your word is a lamp for my feet. You are my Saviour, you have rescued me from sin and I ask that you would protect me from making sinful choices. Shine the light of your love into my confusion. Bring clarity to my mind. Through your mighty name, Amen.

Mr Matthew Betts