St. Jude Thaddeus and the Prayer of Hopeless Causes

No child should die in the dawn of life,

They as bright and shining as early morning,

Their just-beginning story, that first word, paragraph, chapter

How they must begin themselves, all covered up in angel’s wings,

Born as little lights, shining in a sea of love.

Love, the power to move mountains.

They are full of mother’s love, full of father’s love, 

For borne unto them is a soul more white than snow.

How love is in the child! The world rejoices at their coming,

This is a new beginning, a new story to be told,

A new song to be sung.

All bundled up in swaddling clothes, warm little blankets.


My Lord, it is dark this evening.

The nurses have all gone home, the parents are exhausted; 

They have stayed awake for two days,

And I alone am left with the child.

What a wonderful creation you have made. The child is beautiful,

it is pure and holy. It is untouched by the world.

A small patch of dark hair lay upon its head, 

their eyes closed in restful slumber.

A little hand stretches out of the blanket, bunched in a tiny fist.

Even from the visage of the metal incubator comes a heart abounding.

At least, trying to abound.

There are monitors all around it, and tests and papers

And statistics litter the table near the little one.

There is a tiny stethoscope. It feels cold on the baby’s chest.

A butterfly needle is on the table.

I have seen this before.

They are fighting, Lord. 

The are fighting a hard fight.


Thus I pray, Lord, for this little child in their fight.


I pray You bless this child with good health, and long days,

And great acts in the service of Your Kingdom.

I pray their mother and father watches over them and trains them up,

In wisdom and love and thought all strong.

I pray this child will find friends to take brotherhood in, sisterhood in,

Friends who will stick with them as a threefold chord.

I pray they find love, that they may find themselves

One who loves You like they love You.

I pray they find a good work to do, that they may use their hands

And train their minds in good works, that they may never grow idle.

I pray they find peace, and children to raise up for themselves,

And that at the end of their days they will look at their work and be proud.

I pray You would be proud of them as well, Lord.

But, Lord, if it is Your will this child returns before all of this happens,

I pray they would stay till morning,

That they may see the sun rise, and that their parents may spend a little longer with their child in their arms.

And when they are ready to enter with You again, give them rest from this undeserving world.

They have won.


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