The difficult matches of St. Monica

In addition to Augustine, Monika also had two other children – a son Navigia and a daughter Perpet. Both children led a godly and orderly life. But it was harder with Augustine. Although his mother tried to lead him to a living faith, Augustine did not like Christianity very much. He was not even baptized, which was not unusual at the time. It may sound strange today, but at that time it was assumed that sin committed after baptism was more serious than before baptism. Therefore, many postponed baptism until adulthood. The same was true of Augustine.

Young Augustine was very talented and counted. His parents were proud of him and spent a lot of effort and money to provide the young man with studies. The reasons why they put him to study are interesting: “Patricia thought more about the honor of his family and human glory, while Monika had in mind the religious goal. She was convinced that true science was not an obstacle, but rather a help to get to God. ”Augustine began studying in Carthage at the age of sixteen, and this environment did not only give him an intellectual outlook and career opportunities. He set out on the bad sidewalks, which were captivated by the immoral surroundings. After the death of her husband, Monika wanted to get Augustín on the right path, but the young man is deaf to her care. Moreover, Carthage was far and beyond the care of caring Monica.

Augustine was extremely hurt by Augustine’s persistent resistance and disorderly way of life. But she never forgot who to run to when she was at her worst. She constantly entrusted her son to God’s protection and help, asking for the grace of conversion and the power of the Holy Spirit. Although she prayed intensely for her son and fasted, it seemed that Augustine would not move. Monica continued to trust God, but at the same time she was tempted by anxiety and anxiety. She often cried during prayers and prayers … and often just cried. Monica was comforted by Jesus’ words “Ask and you will receive! Search and you will find! Knock and they will open to you! ”(Mt 7: 7) This gave her strength. But it seemed as if God was silent on supplications.

Your son will not perish

We could also look for the roots of Monika’s determination and perseverance in her ancestors. Her parents and grandparents maintained a strong Catholic faith even in times of various divisions. They remained faithful to the Church despite the fact that the area was under the influence of various sects. Montans in particular had a great influence. Augustine successfully completed his studies in Carthage and returned to Tagaste. However, Monika’s joy at his success was overshadowed by bad news, and plans with her son were thwarted again. Augustine brought his mistress, with whom he later had a son. He lived in an extramarital “free” relationship for 14 years. Monika would still be able to bite that anyway. A particularly severe blow was that her son joined the Manichean sect, which was known for its anti-Christian attitudes.

Augustine made it clear to his mother that he had nothing but ridicule and contempt for her faith. Monica was very worried about Augustine’s salvation and intensified her already intense prayers. In addition, she was looking for people to help her with her son’s delusions. But discussing with the excellent and confident rhetorus Augustine was not easy at all. He later wrote: “I have almost always won. Especially in discussions with Christians who were less practical but zealously defended their faith as best they could. ”But Monica did not fight for Augustine only through prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and other acts of religion. She was simple but intelligent and could contradict Augustine’s anti-Christian views. Sometimes she even became involved in the challenging philosophical disputes that Augustine led with his friends. This knowledge of Monica contrasts sharply with the common notion of the saint as an extraordinarily religious, but “not very rational” man.

However, Monika’s wisdom did not result from the addition and knowledge of a large number of facts, but from her obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. However, Augustine often made it clear to his mother that he had nothing but ridicule and contempt for her faith. Monika finally fired Augustine from the house. It was perhaps out of desperation and boiling out of rage that her son was insulting Christianity wherever he could. Monika regrets this radical step and seeks help from the local bishop, who was a Manichean when he was young and knew their teachings. Monica described his difficult situation to him. The bishop advised her to continue to pray. Monica asked him to meet Augustine and convince him of the delusions of Manicheanism, but he refused. However, Monica insisted on a meeting, to which the bishop responded with a familiar sentence: “Go away, for it is not possible for a son to die, for whom the mother sheds so many tears.”

Augustine changes his attitude

Monika was extremely encouraged by these words. At the same time, however, she realized that she would achieve nothing by constant persuasion, so she continued to pray. Again, however, God did not seem to change her situation. From a human point of view, it looked as if God was “powerless” and not omnipotent. However, God also sees beyond the horizon of our thinking and acts even where we are unable to see.

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