Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mother's Day

It's that mother's day: St. Monica, best known for her persevering prayer for her brilliant but wayward son, Augustine (whose feast day is tomorrow).

As flashy and accomplished as Augustine was, his mother was of a far different character. In fact, Augustine half-admits to being embarrassed by Monica's pious devotions. (Of course, any Roman-era rhetor would be embarrassed to have his Mom follow him from continent to continent whispering prayers in his trail.) Augustine even tells us that some of Monica's devotions had to be curtailed--and the only person who could convince her to give them up was St. Ambrose! One prayer she did not give up, until it had been more than answered, was that prayer for Augustine.

That makes Monica her son's most powerful collaborator and partner in mission. Adrienne von Speyr wrote, "Her son's mission will be much more differentiated, but it would be unthinkable without her own. Their missions pass over into one another." Doesn't that mean that Monica is a kind of patron not only of worried moms, but of the lay apostolate itself?

No comments: