Aug. 27, 2015 Thursday: St. Monica
A brilliant son with a promising future leaves home for advanced studies. His mother, a devout Christian, soon finds her son falling into the wrong crowd, which leads to vice and loose living. He abandons the faith of his youth, lives in sin with a woman, and even has an illegitimate child. Finally he joins a strange religious cult. The family is torn apart and the despondent mother is left in tears, fearful for her son's life, to pray for the safe return of her boy to his family and his faith.
Does this story sound familiar to you? Perhaps it sounds like a family you know? or worse yet, your own family?
But the this scenario isn't a story from the twenty-first century!!! The grieving mother lived in the fourth century A.D. in the Roman territories of northern Africa. Her brilliant son did eventually return to the Church to become a great bishop, founder of a religious order, Saint and Doctor of the Church. The figures are St. Augustine of Hippo and his long suffering mother, St. Monica, who prayed thirty-two years for her son's conversion. Their story reveals to us how unchanging is this human drama, which has played out time and time again for centuries.
~ from the Sodality of St. Monica
Saint Monica, model of patience, prayer and perseverance,
intercede for us, that we, too, may be awakened to the sacred,
and trust in God's perfect timing.
Prayer of Hope for those who do not yet know the love of God
O glorious mother, St. Monica, who, despite the many means you employed to accomplish the conversion of your son Augustine seemed fruitless, though for a long time God himself appeared deaf to your earnest prayer and unmoved by your ever-flowing tears, did never lose confidence in obtaining the long-sought grace for Augustine.
You did lovingly and tenderly admonish your erring son; you did watch over him ever with all a mother's love, and fearless of danger and heedless of fatigue, follow him from place to place in his weary and wayward wanderings; in a word, all that a mother's tender love could suggest, all that a mother's anxious solicitude could inspire, all that a wondrous prudence and true wisdom could dictate, you, O great St. Monica, cheerfully did to effect the return to God of your firstborn and darling child.
By all these generous efforts, so happily crowned in the end, hear, O mother, the petitions we make to you. Pray for us, too, and pray especially for those who are unmindful of and ungrateful to God. To you, O dearest mother, we are especially dedicated; look upon us, then, as your children, and win for us the grace we need. Regard mercifully the most destitute amongst us, that sin being diminished, the number of the faithful may increase, and greater glory may be given to Him who is the best of friends, the truest of benefactors, our first beginning and last end, the source of all our hope, our Savior, our God. Amen