Yesterday was the Feast Day of Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine. Saint Monica is the patron saint of those who are called to persistence in prayer. For many years, her son explored emotional and spiritual lands far away from the home base of Gospel living; but no matter how many zig-zags Augustine trod, Monica was always lifting him up in prayer, accompanied by many tears.
Perhaps Augustine thought that his mother was a nag — well meaning, but a nag nonetheless! Perhaps we can call Monica the patroness of “Holy-Pestering”! She never let go of her desire to see Augustine united with Christ and the Church.
I imagine that all of you have friends or family members that are exploring pathways that do not lead to Christ. Maybe you have the gifts of tears, like Saint Monica. Don’t lose hope! Life in Christ means the eternal hope of redemption. Keep the prayers going! Ask the Holy Spirit how to best manifest the gift of “Holy Pestering’! Perhaps a good image to describe this particular gift is an inner compass that tells you when to push and when to yield. Saint Monica learned this gift through trial and error. So do we.
Never lose hope! Saint Monica’s tears baptized Saint Augustine into Christ. So will yours!