Monday, June 3, 2013

The Catholic Defender: St. Monica's Example

Today I was in a discussion with some friends concerning the question of Apostasy.

It seems that people today have no problem with loved ones leaving the Church.

At least some will give support for the decisions their loved ones are making.

This is not a healthy response to the problem of apostasy.

I've seen this attitude develop when parents come to terms with a child claiming to be gay.

Not long ago, Rob Portman, Republican 2012 Presidential Nominee, changed his view towards Gay Marriage after his own son came forward claiming to be Gay.

I think that people naturally shy away from pain much in the same ways you would when touching a red hot stove.

Can we simply turn and look the other way as opposed to dealing with the situation? What is the appropriate response when a loved one has fallen from the faith?

Prayer must be the first baseline support for anyone who has fallen from the faith.  Remember, St. Monica prayed for both her Husband, (Patritius) and St Augustine for 30 years.  

There is so much in the scripture that speaks to this, but I wanted to share what Our Lord told St. Faustina in 1935:

"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*,
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."  

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Notice what Our Lord states, "During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is My Church".  

This speaks volumes and this tells me  we should not be taking this so lightly.  We need to have the heart and mind of St. Monica.

Saint Monica is a patron saint for mothers and wives. She lived by example all her life.  She exhibited great faith in the midst of trials and tribulations.  

Today, this is all too common as our world has become more technological and advanced in knowledge.  

It is interesting that Daniel 12:4 states, "As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall fall away and evil shall increase".

                                                             Prayer to Saint Monica
Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You perseveringly pursued your wayward son
Not with threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.
Intercede for all mothers in our day
So that they may learn to draw their children to God.
Teach them how to remain close to their children,
Even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray.
Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother,
many sorrows pierced your heart during your lifetime.
Yet, you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence, and profound faith,
you prayed daily for the conversion
of your beloved husband, Patricius,
and your beloved son, Augustine;
your prayers were answered.
Grant me that same fortitude, patience,
and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St Monica,
that God may favorably hear my plea.
(mention your intention here)
Grant me the grace to accept His Will in all things,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

St Augustine was sent to Carthage because of the great potential he exhibited, but it was not long that he would become involved with Manichaeism. This would closely resemble much of the secular humanism of today. He would get involved with loose women much like the Prodigal Son. He became addicted to sensual appetites and pleasures. St. Monica's persistence should be an inspiration to anyone who has wayward children.

St. Monica said not long before the Lord would take her to her heavenly reward: “I do not know what there is left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled. All I wished for was that I might see you a Catholic and a child of Heaven. God granted me even more than this in making you despise earthly felicity and consecrate yourself to His service”. 

This should be the cry of all wives and Mothers for their Children who have returned home to the Catholic Faith. This has to be our song.

Like St. Monica, we to can be over joyed when a Prodigal comes home.  Not only is there a celebration in heaven, Our Lord says to St. Faustina, " As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion." 

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