Thursday, August 27, 2009

St Monica & Spiritual Motherhood

"I have my mother to thank for what I have become and the way that I got there!"

~ St Augustine

Independent of age or social status, everyone can become a mother for priests. This type of motherhood is not only for family mothers, but is just as valid for an unmarried girl, for a widow, or for someone who is ill. It is especially pertinent for missionaries and religious sisters who have given their lives entirely to God for the sanctification of others. John Paul II even thanked a child for her motherly help: "I also express my gratitude to Bl. Jacinta for the sacrifices and prayers offered for the Holy Father, whom she saw suffering greatly" (13 May 2000).

Every priest has a mother and often she is a spiritual mother for her children as well. Giuseppe Sarto, for example, the future Pope Pius X, visited his 70-year-old mother after being ordained a bishop. She kissed her son’s ring and, suddenly pensive, indicating her own simple silver wedding band said, "Yes, Giuseppe, you would not be wearing that ring if I had not first worn mine."

Pope St. Pius X rightfully confirms his experience that, "Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it goes through the heart of a mother!"


One sees this very well in the life of St. Monica. Augustine, who lost his faith at the age of 19 during his studies in Carthage, later wrote in his famous Confessions regarding his mother:


"For love of me, she cried more tears than a mother would over the bodily death of her son. Nine years passed in which I wallowed in the slime of that deep pit and the darkness of falsehood. Yet that pious widow desisted not all the hours of her supplications, to bewail my case unto Thee where her prayers entered into Thy presence."


After his conversion, Augustine said thankfully, "My holy mother never abandoned me. She brought me forth in her flesh, that I might be born to this temporal light, and in her heart, that I might be born to life eternal."

St. Augustine always desired to have his mother present at his philosophical discussions. She listened attentively and sometimes intervened with such fine intuition that the scholars who had gathered were astounded by her inspired responses to intricate questions. Who should be surprised then that Augustine described himself as her "disciple of philosophy"!

~ This has been taken from the booklet that inspired our blog, Adoration, Reparation and Spirtual Motherhood for Priests

Tomorrow on the feast of St Augustine I will share a posting with more thoughts on St Monica's spiritual motherhood and a special cake to celebrate both feasts!

1 comment:

Letizia said...

Feast of St. Monica! the pious, wonderful and dedicated mother of the great St. Augustine !
With her constant prayers and her trust in the Mercy of God, she obtained sanctity for her son and, I believe, for herself as well.

Merciful Heart of Jesus, we humbly implore you to grant us through the Immaculate Heart of your Most Blessed Mother and through the intercession of St. Monica and St. Augustine, that we will with our prayers, bring closer to sanctity our spiritual sons and ourselves.
Thank you Jesus. Amen