27 August 2008

Saint Monica

Today is the feast day of Saint Monica, the mother of St Augustine. It is always interesting to read about the lives of the saints, and what I've read of St Monica is certainly an inspiration. Apparently she was married to a man who was not Christian, and who was abusive. She lived with her abusive husband and not so nice mother-in-law, yet through patience, prayers and penance she converted them both to the Catholic Faith.

More famously, it is through her prayers and acts of penance that she brought to conversion her son, Augustine. To me this example of perseverance is something we should all keep in mind when we pray. Not only was St Monica praying for others, she was persistent, without losing faith when her prayers were not answered immediately. Living the way we do today with access to instant information on the internet, instant on-demand access to films and tv programs and the 'fast food' style of service, it is easy to lose perspective and expect an instant on-demand reply to our prayers.

Next to the Blessed Virgin, St Monica is one of the best examples of a Christian mother.

St Monica is patron of patience, married women, homemakers and housewives, mothers, wives, widows, alcoholics, difficult marriages, disappointing children, victims of adultery or unfaithfulness, and victims of (verbal) abuse
Exemplary Mother of the great Augustine,
you perseveringly pursued your wayward son
not with wild threats
but with prayerful cries to heaven.
Intercede for all mothers in our day
so that they may learn to draw their children to God.
Teach them how to remain close to their children,
even the prodigal sons and daughters
who have sadly gone astray.

No comments: