Monica was born of a Christian family in Thagaste in North Africa. She married Patricius, a pagan. She had a number of children among whom was Augustine.
He was a brilliant boy and grew up inquiring and searching.
His lifestyle was not what she would have liked in line with her Christian beliefs.
He tried different philosophies and even Manichee.
She prayed for his conversion for years.
Shortly before she died, she saw his conversion to Christianity. Indeed, he became the great St Augustine.
So often I hear from parents and grandparents who have children and grandchildren who have dropped the practice of the Christian Faith which they treasure so much.
I understand this disappointment.
They want the best for their children. They value their own faith and it gives them great support and comfort.
They would like to see their family benefit from embracing and living the Christian Faith.
I remember very clearly how influential my grandparents and parents Faith was for me.
As a young man, I became an agnostic and questioned everything I believed, I was not prepared to throw it away without investigating it properly because I could see how much meaning it gave my parents and grandparents.
However, I was not prepared to stay in the Faith without being convinced of it for myself.
In the end, I stayed because it made sense.
Sometimes some parents say to me that they do not want to choose a religion for their children.
‘I want them to choose for themselves‘ they say.
Of course, parents make choices for their children on many things.
E.g., culture, education, where they live, what they eat, etc.
In the end, my parents did not choose my Faith for me. I made the choice to own the Christian Faith.
However, I am so thankful that my family gave me a good start.
Monica prayed for Augustine. She was blessed to see his conversion.
It is an act of love to pray for the ones we truly value.
Never underestimate a good example!