St. Monica, pray for us, for the lost sons and shepherds of the Church and for all who have strayed!
I love the depth of love and prayer that is captured in this image, so I wanted to share it with you… along with information about her, some beautiful wisdom by Bishop Barron and words written about her by her son, St. Augustine.
The story of St. Augustine’s conversion from grave sin to a life of incredible sanctity following years of St. Monica’s tears and prayers…
reminds me to never lose hope!
Stories like this remind us that no matter how hopeless things seem, God is greater than our circumstances and has a great plan for us, remembering His promise:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
How awesome it is to consider this and to realize that each tear we shed and every prayer we offer for someone we love who is far from God is “God himself already crying and praying through us.”
How beautiful to ponder!!!
So, Who is St. Monica?
“Raised in a Christian family, [St. Monica] was given in marriage to a bad-tempered, adulterous pagan named Patricius. Mother of two, one of whom is Saint Augustine of Hippo whose writings about her are the primary source of our information about Monica. She prayed constantly for the conversion of her husband (who converted on his death bed), and of her son (who converted after a wild life).” http://catholicsaints.info/saint-monica/
From Bishop Barron:
…”God accepted those tears in coordination with granting the grace of conversion to her son, implying that God himself was effectively crying through the tears of Monica.
God indeed knows everything about everything, so he is aware of what we need before we ask; but like a good parent, he delights in receiving our tearful requests—even if, like a good parent, he does not always respond the way we would like him to.
…but through whatever is good and right and true in our prayer, God is already praying through us.”
From the Confessions of Saint Augustine:
“The day was now approaching when my mother Monica would depart from this life; you know that day, Lord, though we did not. She and I happened to be standing by ourselves at a window that overlooked the garden in the courtyard of the house. At the time we were in Ostia on the Tiber. And so the two of us, all alone, were enjoying a very pleasant conversation, “forgetting the past and pushing on to what is ahead..” We were asking one another in the presence of the Truth – for you are the Truth – what it would be like to share the eternal life enjoyed by the saints, which “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, which has not even entered into the heart of man.” We desired with all our hearts to drink from the streams of your heavenly fountain, the fountain of life. That was the substance of our talk, though not the exact words. But you know, O Lord, that in the course of our conversation that day, the world and its pleasures lost all their attraction for us. My mother said, “Son, as far as I am concerned, nothing in this life now gives me any pleasure. I do not know why I am still here, since I have no further hopes in this world. I did have one reason for wanting to live a little longer: to see you become a Catholic Christian before I died. God has lavished his gifts on me in that respect, for I know that you have even renounced earthly happiness to be his servant. So what am I doing here?” I do not really remember how I answered her. Shortly, within five days or thereabouts, she fell sick with a fever. Then one day during the course of her illness she became unconscious and for a while she was unaware of her surroundings. My brother and I rushed to her side, but she regained consciousness quickly. She looked at us as we stood there and asked in a puzzled voice: “Where was I?” We were overwhelmed with grief, but she held her gave steadily upon us, and spoke further: “Here you shall bury your mother.” I remained silent as I held back my tears. However, my brother haltingly expressed his hope that she might not die in a strange country but in her own land, since her end would be happier there. When she heard this, her face was filled with anxiety, and she reproached him with a glance because he had entertained such earthly thoughts. Then she looked at me and spoke: “Look what he is saying.” Thereupon she said to both of us, “Bury my body wherever you will; let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.” Once our mother had expressed this desire as best she could, she fell silent as the pain of her illness increased.”
In this time of such great sin in our Church, let us never give up hope, for we know St. Monica, all the angels and saints, and even God Himself is crying and praying with us!
Lord, lead all of us back to you! We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
© Janet Moore 2018. All Rights Reserved.