Sunday, May 9, 2010

St. Monica on Mother's Day

St. Monica has long been a source of inspiration to mothers. Her son, Augustine was a troubled youth who lived an immoral life after accepting the Manichean heresy. Perhaps its most enticing doctrine was, as Augustine later explained, that "it was not we who sin but some other nature that sins within us. It flattered my pride to think that I incurred no guilt, and when I did wrong, not to confess it." A perfect system of belief for the young who had lost his father at the age of 17.

At first, Monica refused to let Augustine into her home. Then, after a vision saying that Augustine would eventually return to the faith, and after encouragement by her bishops, Monica decided to take another tack and stay close to Augustine, praying and fasting for him.

Augustine converted after years of prayer and fasting on the part of Monica.

St. Monica, beg Our Lord to give us the strength to follow your example.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

And pray ye without ceasing, in behalf of other men. For there is in them hope of repentance that they may attain to God. See then, that they be instructed by your works if in no other way. Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting. To their blasphemies, return your prayers, in contrast to their error, be ye steadfast in the faith, and for their cruelty, manifest your gentleness.
-St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I am deeply grieved, brethren for (Valens) and his wife; to whom may the Lord grant true repentance! And be ye then moderate in regard to this matter, and "do not count such as enemies" but call them back as suffering and straying members, that ye may save your whole body. For by so acting, ye shall edify yourselves.
-From the Epistle of Saint Polycarp to the Phillipians

Shunning, as done in some communities goes against this directive from Polycarp. "Do not count such as enemies," in quotes by Polycarp, shows that this was taught even prior to this early time. We are to swallow our own pride and use these difficult situations as an offering to God for our own humility and others' conversion.