Saturday, August 27, 2011

St. Monica

Next to Ven. Pere Lataste, St. Monica is my favorite saint.  That's because my life has revolved around her in many ways.  Mainly, all my sacraments were received in St. Monica's Church.   Well, I continue to receive Holy Eucharist and Penance, here and there and everywhere, but the sacraments that you only receive once, were at St. Monica's.
    I've always used her as an example of womanhood, wifery, and motherhood.  She was a grandmother too, but no one mentions that.  But a good mother would be a good grandmother; that's reasonable.
    She is best known for persevering in prayer for her son, St. Augustine.  One time, my nephew, Fred, sitting next to me in a pew, in St. Monica's, was incredulous, upon hearing her story.  He exclaimed, "You mean she's a saint for just being a mother!?!!!!!"
    I give my sister credit for putting up with this brat.  Virginia must have been a very good mother for her son to think that all mothers just automatically care and sacrifice for their children.  St. Monica followed her son, Augustine, and prayed, sacrificed, and never gave up on him.  There are stories around today about St. Monica's perseverance.     One is that Bishop Ambrose told her not to worry because there was no way the son of so many tears could not be saved.  Another is that Ambrose told her to stop talking to Augustine about God, and start talking to God about Augustine.
    She must have been a nag.  Which is reason alone for liking her.  She should and could be, Patroness of Nags.  You wouldn't nag, unless you cared.
    There's even a Sodality dedicated to her.  Well, not dedicated to her as a person, but rather, to her ideal, i.e., praying for your lost children.  I even tried to start a St. Monica's Sodality in my own parish but it never caught on.  So I depend on my parish's prayer group to do the job of converting my family.
    Another reason, I've always thought of St. Monica is that my childhood friend was named Monica.  Yeah, she was named after our parish's patron.  You see, her dad was the church's sexton, and he named his daughter after the parish's patron.  We were soul mates and I could kick her because she won't "friend" me on FB.  But I understand.  She's probably forgotten all about FB, and me too, for that matter.  We've moved on.

Then again, St. Monica is all about perseverance.  So I'll never give up on Monica, nor my family.
 
     *   As a side note:  Fred grows up to marry a Monika.  ;-)

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