Blog Post - May 4th
S. Monica| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
The circumstances of St. Monica’s life could have made her a nagging wife, a bitter daughter-in-law and a despairing parent, yet she did not give way to any of these temptations. Although she was a Christian, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had some redeeming features, but he had a violent temper and was licentious. Monica also had to bear with a cantankerous mother-in-law who lived in her home. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety, but always respected her. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his baptism.
Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine (August 28) , is the most famous. At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy (all flesh is evil) and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact, she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted.
When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead, he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine’s trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan.
In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, St. Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her (see Quote, below). Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste.
She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.” She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death.
Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of St. Augustine, especially his Confessions.
Today, with Internet searches, e-mail shopping, text messages, tweets and instant credit, we have little patience for things that take time. Likewise, we want instant answers to our prayers. Monica is a model of patience. Her long years of prayer, coupled with a strong, well-disciplined character, finally led to the conversion of her hot-tempered husband, her cantankerous mother-in-law and her brilliant but wayward son, Augustine.
When Monica moved from North Africa to Milan, she found religious practices new to her and also that some of her former customs, such as a Saturday fast, were not common there. She asked St. Ambrose which customs she should follow. His classic reply was: “When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday, but I fast when I am in Rome; do the same and always follow the custom and discipline of the Church as it is observed in the particular locality in which you find yourself.”
Patron Saint of:
Know Your faith:
Fight error with courage and kindness. Look around you and see the injustice that chains so many people. Take time for quiet prayer. Know your faith and let that knowledge burst into flame in your heart.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
What will we give to the Lord in return for what He gives us?
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188
We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.
You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.
Reflection 124: The Mercy of Intercessory Prayer
Do you want to see The Divine Mercy of God pour forth upon the world in an abundant way? Hopefully and presumably the answer to that question is an easy, “Yes.” It’s important to know that, in some ways, you are responsible for whether or not that happens. Specifically, Jesus has chosen to make His abundance of Mercy flow forth as a direct result of your intercession for others. It’s true. Your personal choice to pray for others has a direct result on Jesus offering them special graces. This is a grace offered others in addition to the many other graces He offers in other ways. Do your part and others will be blessed in abundance. Ignore your part, and they will not receive the specific grace you could have won for them through your prayers (See Diary #599).
Reflect, today, upon the person or people God has entrusted to your intercession. This is no small responsibility. God has chosen you for this task. And through your prayers, others will be blessed. Who is it that God wants to bless through your prayers? Make a concrete decision to pray for them and trust that the Lord’s Mercy will be bestowed as a direct result.
Lord, I pray that You will show me who You wish me to pray for. Place on my heart this desire. Help me to be faithful in my intercession and to trust in the power of that prayer. Here and now I offer (think of a person) to You. And I especially offer this person to the Immaculate Heart of Your Mother for her perfect prayers. Mother Mary, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.