Recently, a holy man wrote a note to me, which I would like to share with you.
….The union of wills in sacrificial love between a mother and son for the purpose of the salvation of souls by means of his priesthood….
Can there be a greater calling for a woman? It was and is Our Lady’s calling, and you, in her image, as well.
O blessed and fruitful Bride of Christ!
He was referring to my constant prayer and suffering for my own son, but a shadow of that same image which Monica lived, and which, most fully, Our Lady Mary lived. Mothers have two great models, two Brides of Christ, who call us to be more than we ever imagined we could become, through grace, through self-denial.
Monica not only prayed for her son’s conversion for decades, she suffered. Monica not only suffered, but through her own example of repentance, taught Augustine how to repent.
Monica had to learn obedience through suffering. Our Mother Mary did not. She was born in perfect obedience to the Will of the Father, so one with God, that her “Fiat” resounded to the heavens, bringing down Christ to earth, so that all men and women could be saved.
Mary is, indeed, the Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of All Grace. I sincerely hope this current pope declares her so from the Chair of Peter.
Monica imitated Mary, and so, too, does every mother who upholds her seminarian and priest son in prayer. Monica teaches us mothers how to persevere, lead, guide, then give up, and go back to Square One, learning more lessons of holiness by cooperating with dying to self.
It was fitting that Monica died in Italy. She had nothing really to return to in Africa. Her life had seen the goal for which God created her–the conversion and holy growth of her son, Augustine,and the conversion of her husband.
May Our Lady Mary and Monica give all mothers perseverance and peace, trust and hope, purity and love, so that the Church may see a burgeoning of priestly vocations.
UPDATE: The good priest at Mass this morning stated that today should be Catholic Mothers’ Day. Great Idea.