Saturday, July 31, 2010

St. Monica and the Virtue of Diligence

The virtue for August is diligence or perseverance. The saint who best exemplifies this trait is St. Monica.   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 man 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.

It is so difficult to be persistent in our prayers and in our faith, especially when the "answer" to our prayers seems to be so long in coming.  We need to be like the woman in Christ's parable who continues to pester the judge until her request is answered.

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

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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