St. Monica represents for us the parents whose children are trudging the path of destruction. These parents are helpless in doing anything for such children. I believe every parent has experienced the pain of seeing a child slide down to destruction until he or she is too old to be corrected. Parents, especially mothers, start to cry and ask, “What happened to my child? Where did I go wrong?”
It is true that the spiritual life of children depends mainly on their parents. But this task is not endless. This means that at a certain point, the responsibility over the spiritual life of the children shifts from the parents to the children themselves. At a certain point, the only thing that a parent can do is to say, “I leave you all to God and I will just wait for the seed of goodness that I have implanted in your heart to bloom.” Parents cannot be completely responsible for what their children do. There comes a time in the lives of children when parents have to say, “I have given my best, I have planted the best seeds, what is left for me is to pray and ask God to bring my prayers to completion.”
St. Monica knew that very clearly. St. Monica knew what Socrates, the philosopher said, “When you teach, it is not that you are trying to mold a person from very raw clay. In every person, there is already a seed of truth and the role of the parent and teacher is to bring out the seed of truth within the heart of the children and students.” St. Monica realized that.
Nagging is useless. Scolding a 30 or 40 year-old son or daughter is pointless. In fact, scolding old people like that can even be harmful. St. Monica realized that. After doing the very best she could, she simply said, “The responsibility is now on you Augustine. My responsibility for you now is to pray. I will pray, I will cry in the presence of God. I will sacrifice for you because what is needed now is faith that your life is now in the hands of God.” God listened to the prayers of St. Monica and we now have a great saint like Augustine.
Let us learn from that. We, who are so prone to scolding. We, who are so prone to nagging. We, who are so prone to complaining. Let us keep in mind, that what is needed now is faith. Evermore, what is needed is good example. Evermore, what is needed is prayer.
IN GOD’S TIME
Only Jesus, Always Jesus