Feast of Saint Monica
Saint Monica was the mother of the great Saint Augustine whose feast day we celebrate tomorrow. In his early years, Augustine rejected the Christian faith of his mother. Monica was a mother in sorrow and spent nearly 30 years fervently praying for her son's conversion. At the age of 31 Augustine converted and was baptized
Today we pray, in a special way, for the intercession of Saint Monica, for the return of those in our lives who have fallen away from the Church. Before we do that, I want to clarify why we pray for their return to the Church. We do NOT pray for their return because we think they need to be better people. No! They are already amazing people who are caring and good, many who have loved us unconditionally. The reason we pray for them is because we know first-hand that Jesus Christ and His Church will fulfill the deepest desires of their hearts. Like Saint Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in You, Lord."
At my own parish, we frequently pray for those who have fallen away from the faith. I would like to share our prayer with you today in honor of Saint Monica.
God our Father, we join our prayer to the prayer of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that all may be one as You and He are one. We ask You to guide home those of Your children who have been received into the Catholic Church through Your sacraments and instructed in the truths of faith passed on to us through the apostles and their successors, but have left Your flock. We as You to send Your Spirit to them so that whatever stands in the way of their return may be removed. We ask You for the graces that we need to witness to the joy of the gospel celebrated in the sacraments and proclaimed to the world that we ask Your disciples may bring them back to their home in the Church.
Photo by Codi Shandel Photography