August 27, 2010

Monica as Intercessor

In one of my early assignments we had a little shrine to St. Monica in the public chapel. It was enormously popular. One doesn't have to spend much time in ministry to realize that a large proportion of the prayers of this world come out of the anxiety of mothers for their sons in trouble. St. Monica is the perfect intercessor for these intentions.

Another area for which I have recommended Monica as an intercessor is in the area of sexual purity. St. Augustine had his troubles in this area, as he freely admits, and chastity was a stumbling for him in his discernment of Catholic Christianity. Therefore, if we take seriously what we pray in the collect today, that God received Monica's tears for the conversion of her son (the current English translation about God being moved misses the mark a little bit) we must conclude that her prayers helped Augustine accept the grace of chastity.

St. Monica, pray for us.


Lee said...

I left the Church at age 18 and 3 yrs later came back because of the prayers of my father. And why did I come back? A very vivid glimpse of hell, really.

Having gone through all that and having watched what I put my own parents through, when I became a father myself I had a very clear idea of how to pray for my children. I was Monica and my son was Augustine from the day of his birth. For I reasoned that it is much more effective to pray fervently for someone that they *never* fall away than to pray for them *after* they fall away.

In this age it would make perfect sense for this strategy to be recommended at the baptismal font, would it not?

Also, I didn't ever want a call from- and could not have borne- a call from a hospital, a police station or a morgue. Yes, there was a lot of self-interest animating this strategy.

And the fruits of this policy? For one thing, there was never the whisper of any teenage rebellion, nor of any unchastity. The kids never asked why they had to go to Mass. We had a very prayerful, peaceful, joyful home. A home, not a monastery, for in fact my son became a very accomplished heavy metal guitarist, my daughter an actress in many school plays.

And out of this came two vocations, for Lord always gives us more than we ask or think...

In other words, St. Monica is not only an intercessor, but a model and a guide to Catholic parenting, the sooner emulated the better.

Brother Charles said...

Lee! Good to see you.

doughboy said...

i wandered in the gay life for about 15 years; at first with a "walk-in closet" while i was in the military, but then i kicked the door off the hinges after separating from active duty and threw myself headlong into that culture. my long-suffering mother's prayers, i am convinced, are what brought me back to the faith 6 years ago. i've had a long-standing affinity for/devotion to st. augustine and st. monica for years, and am so grateful to God that He stored up grace from my mom's prayers and poured it all upon me at the moment i was finally able to receive it. may all of us grow in chastity in accordance with our states in life, and have faith in the efficacy of prayer.