Yesterday was the feast of St. Monica, an “extraordinary ordinary” woman with whom so many mothers can relate. She raised her son to be a good, faithful, moral boy, but Augustine went down the wrong path. He had a “rap sheet” of immoral acts a mile long. His mother, Monica, never stopped praying for her son to convert. Hers is an example of true perseverance in prayer.
Most of us pray for something for a while, and give up when it seems as though God has turned a deaf ear to our pleas. Monica knew that God works in mysterious ways. She knew that it was indeed God’s Will that her son repent and be saved. She also knew that you can’t give God deadlines. Her persistence and faith were truly inspiring!
Thank God she persisted, because her son did have an amazing conversion while reading a passage in the bible! ( Romans 13:13-14) St. Ambrose had come into his life, and had encouraged him to read the New Testament – particularly St. Paul’s epistles. Augustine became a church father, doctor of the church and a great saint. Here are a few of his words of wisdom that strike a chord in my heart:
If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.
God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.
Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.
What a wise man! If you have anyone within your circle of friends or family who seems to have gone down the wrong path, or put God on the back burner, ask St. Monica and St. Augustine to pray with you to God for that soul. Don’t give up! Ask God to bring a positive influence into that person’s life. Be persistent in prayer and sacrifice. One day (maybe not until you get to heaven) you will see the fruits of your prayer. God hears, and wants to bring the lost sheep back to the fold.
Saints Monica and Augustine, Pray for Us!