“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
St. Monica made these words of St. James a way of life.
North African born, she became the wife of an abusive, inebriate of the Roman military. Their son, Augustine, became as much of a reprobate as his father. Both men nearly broke her heart. Yet, Monica turned not to despair and bitterness but to prayer. She prayed for the salvation of her family.
Shortly before his death, her husband converted to Christianity, and the great rift that had always been present in their marriage was healed, as the Lord transformed him into a gentle man. After her husband’s death, Monica set out in search of her wayward son. By the time she found him, he had found Christ, and she was present as her child, the man who would become the great convert St. Augustine, was baptized into the Faith she had so long prayed he would find.
I know that many of you, my readers, suffer the trial of having family members—perhaps a spouse or child—who does not know the Lord or who is set against His Church. I pray that you will seek and find in St. Monica a sister and friend whose prayers will strengthen you and give you hope to persevere.
Find strength today, and consider it pure joy.
I also recommend these books as sources of inspiration and encouragement through your trial:
St. Monica, devoted wife, loving mother, faithful apostle of prayer, pray for us.
Picture credit: Augustine and His Mother St. Monica by Ary Scheffer