In the past week, we celebrated the feasts of St. Monica and St. Augustine. I’m sure Benedict said mass and contemplated each on their feast days. St. Augustine was a major influence on Benedict but it is St. Monica who is the most helpful to me tonight in thinking of what to write. St. Monica teaches faith, perseverance and prayer. How many of us have family members who have lost their faith, never had faith or aren’t faithful? Most of us. How many of us persevere in our prayer for others? I know I fall off the wagon. I tire, I forget, I get angry and don’t, etc. Yet my prayer might be what makes the difference.
Benedict’s life was given to sharing what he learned about God with others. His whole life was in some way like Monica’s prayer but on a larger scale. Benedict wanted and wants to bring everyone to God. So tonight I think I’ll say a prayer to St. Monica, the patron of mothers for the souls of all my children, godchildren, nieces, nephews, friend’s children, all children, all children of God from here:
O glorious St. Monica, greatly challenged among mothers, I feel particularly attracted by you who gave such an enlightened example of motherly love.
Who could understand better than you the anxieties and fears of a mother worrying about the eternal salvation of her children? You endured all, since in the order of nature, St. Augustine is the fruit of your womb, and in the order of grace, the fruit of your tears. For this reason I am greatly convinced that if you here on earth, with the sanctity of your life and the perserverance of your prayers, were one of the great models of the Christian mother, you must enjoy in heaven the privilage of being their singular protector.
Obtain for me the grace to faithfully imitate your virtues, and furthermore, may my children avoid those errors and failures you disapproved of so strongly in your son. And if it will happen, to my misfortune, that they too fall, grant me the grace to obtain with my prayers, supported by yours, as perfect a conversion as you were able to obtain for your son. Amen.