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Archive for August 27th, 2011

It seems to me strange that a mom would be honored just for being a mom.  Yes, her son was important.  Augustine was one of the great fathers in the Lord’s Church.  Monica was devout Christian but her son and husband were not Christians.  Augustine had a child out of wedlock.  He was pagan philosopher with an incredible intellect.  Monica is so remembered for her persistence in prayer for her family, as a mother.  Parents would do well to think on such parental persistence in prayer.  She personifies the widow in our Lord’s parable:

 1And (Jesus) told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” 6And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18)

Monica was persistent in prayer for many, many years.  She also personifies Proverbs 31:

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:
29“Many women have done excellently,
   but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
   and let her works praise her in the gates.

In my opinion, this day would be appropriate as Christian mothers’ day!   (Just as  I would nominate  March 19, the Festival of St. Joseph, Guardian of  Jesus, as Christian fathers’ day with a special emphasis on adoption).

Let us pray:  O Lord, You strengthened Your patient servant Monica through  spiritual discipline to persevere in offering her love, her prayers, and her tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine, their son.  Deepen our devotion to bring others, even our own family, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, wh with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Bio (from   http://cyberbrethren.com/ ):

Today we honor and remember St. Monica, beloved and blessed mother of St. Augustine. Her experiences as a wife of a man who was a harsh pagan, but who was converted eventually due in large measure to her loving patience with him, are immortalized for us by St. Augustine himself, chiefly in his deeply introspective work of spiritual autobiography, Confessions. Her ardent and continuing prayers for her son and her constant love and support for him saw him move from paganism, to heretical Christianity, while living outside marriage with a woman who fathered him a child, to eventual orthodox Christianity and service as a bishop. Here is The LCMS biographical note about her.

A native of North Africa, Monica (A.D. 333–387) was the devoted mother of Saint Augustine. Throughout her life she sought the spiritual welfare of her children, especially that of her brilliant son, Augustine. Widowed at a young age, she devoted herself to her family, praying many years for Augustine’s conversion. When Augustine left North Africa to go to Italy, she followed him to Rome and then to Milan. There she had the joy of witnessing her son’s conversion to the Christian faith. Weakened by her travels, Monica died at Ostia, Italy on the journey she had hoped would take her back to her native Africa. On some church year calendars, Monica is remembered on May 4.

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