Sixteen years is a long time to pray for a special intention; St. Monica may have felt weary at times, saying the same prayer over and over again. But God heard every prayer and every heart-felt wish. St. Monica lived to see her prayers answered when St. Augustine returned to the practice of the Christian faith.
When I say a “Hail Mary” to Our Lady, Queen of Peace, I don’t see any result. But I hope that maybe a breeze of cool air will comfort a soldier in a hot, dry climate. Thinking that, I continue to pray for peace and trust that Our Lady and Our Lord hear.
Pat Chiafa, ASBS emerita
Every evening at 8:00pm I pray the Relevant Radio Family Rosary across America facilitated by Fr. Francis Hoffman, aka “Father Rocky.” Nightly, there are several requests from mothers asking for prayers that their children will return to the faith. Father Rocky has stated multiple times that this is the most requested prayer received. I include my own sons in this petition as well. St. Monica has been a source of inspiration and hope for me throughout the years.
There is no greater moment in life than when a mother cuddles her new born infant. She sees the face of God in that precious baby and her heart is overwhelmed and warmed by its innocence and purity. My tears of joy that flowed at the birth of my children were motivated by the sheer marvel at having co-created with God to bring forth such love. In that moment God is so real and the awareness of His Presence in this tiny being is rooted in the depth of our being. That experience is etched on our heart and it remains forever. We have such dreams for our children. While I did not entertain any specific outcome for their life, I assumed that my boys would embrace the values that were sacred to me. To that end, they attended 12 years of Catholic school as well as Catholic college. I am deeply saddened that each one has chosen not to actively practice the faith.
It is natural that adult children set out on their own path and seek adventure and fulfillment. You noted St. Augustine left his homeland seeking to advance his career. As mothers we are concerned that distractions may pull them into harmful directions. Henri Nouwen articulates my burden when he writes, “I suspect that we too often have lost contact with the source of our own existence and have become strangers in our own house. We tend to run around trying to solve the problems of our world while anxiously avoiding confrontation with that reality wherein our problems find their deepest roots: our own selves.”
St. Monica is a wonderful reminder that it is with faithful trust that God will hear our prayers for our children and give them the opportunity to return to his open arms where He will welcome them home.