Today the Church commemorates the mother of St. Augustine, St. Monica. In a biography of her it says, "She was born at Thagaste in Africa of a Christian family. She was married young, to Patricius, and among her children was Augustine. He had a brilliant intellect and uncertain morals and his wayward spiritual career saw him at one time a Manichee and then a Neoplatonist."
Monica is an example of what it truly means to be a Christian in the world, a follower of Christ. Her husband was an "unbeliever" and her children were not much better. Augustine, though being brought up a Christian, left his Christian faith behind to lead a life full of self absorption and selfishness. He lived with a woman without being married, had a child with her, a son, named, Adeodatus. He had a successful legal and academic career. But this was all leaving him feeling empty and unsatisfied. The prayers of Monica were starting to work.
As a result of her prayers, he returned to the Church and devoted his whole life to the knowledge and love of God. This was all thanks to the prayers of his mother, Monica. In her words to him, just before she passed from this world to the next, she said to Augustine, "For my part, my son, I no longer find pleasure in anything that this life holds. What I am doing here still, or why I am still here, I do not know, for worldly hope has withered away for me. One thing only there was for which I desired to linger in this life: to see you a Catholic Christian before I died. And my God has granted this to me more lavishly than I could have hoped, letting me see even you spurning earthly happiness to be his servant. What am I still doing here?”
As a result of her constant prayers and concern for Augustine, and his eventual conversion to the Catholic faith, she is considered to be the patron saint of mothers. Once converted, he is quoted as saying to God, "Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!" What beautiful words!
I use Monica as an example in my daily prayers to God. Not only do I pray for my own concerns and service to God as a deacon, I pray to God for my children. I pray that God guides them, as He once guided Augustine, through the prayers of Monica.
We are all called to pray as Monica did for those people in our lives that need to have God in the center of all they do. They can be our children, spouses, relatives, or friends. We are to pray for them to come to know God and to be in relationship with Jesus. Use Monica as an example to pray for those in your life that need God's love and care.
Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!
Deacon Tom Tortorella is a guest blogger on FatherRosado.com. He is a permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of New York and is currently assigned to St. Clare of Assisi Church in the Bronx, NY. He was ordained by His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan on June 19th, 2010.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition© 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.