Today is the Feast Day of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, the theologian and writer. As I was reading about St. Monica’s life in my Saint of the Day email, I thought of how much she can teach us about having hope, and never giving up faith in the Lord.
Earlier in his life, Augustine had said in his Confessions, “Lord, make me pure, but not yet.” His early life was not what one would consider saintly. It must have been hard for Monica, as a mother, to see that her son was so far from the faith. But she never gave up hope that God would work wonders in his life. And she was right. When Augustine found his faith, he really found it, and shared it with others.
The life of St. Monica made me think of my own life. We all know people—friends and family—who do not share our faith and our beliefs. For me, this means that when something good happens in my life, I can only share so much of what it means to me because I hold back the faith element in the telling; at other times, when I am struggling, its hard to explain how much my faith means to me in those times as well. Perhaps it is wrong of me to hold back such things. That was my thought as I read the life of St. Monica. There are two sides in every relationship, and by my holding back my beliefs, I am holding back a big piece of who I am from family and friends.
In St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy, which I just started reading this week, Paul says, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith and purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Old or young, rich or poor, I think that St. Paul’s words are for everyone—we have to be an example to others. It is one area of my life that I really have to work on.
Have you ever been in a situation where you showed your faith when it was hard to do so? Please share as it may inspire other readers.