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When we think of the challenges in rearing children, St. Augustine and his mother St. Monica come to my mind. Augustine was most difficult in his formative years. His behavior troubled his tender-hearted mother greatly, and as he became an adult, Monica saw her son reject much of her instruction, especially when it came to faith in the Lord.
But her faith was not swayed by the situations she faced with her son or his unbelieving friends. In a dream, the Lord told this faithful mother that one day her son would join her as a Christian and follower of Jesus. How encouraging it must have been for her to hear in that dream, “Where you are, he [Augustine] is.”
Many of us have mothers who loved us even when we were hardest to love. Our mothers serve as great witnesses of faith and forgiveness. Today, we give thanks for them and we celebrate the gift they are as those who carried us—in their wombs, in their hands, and in their hearts.
We also give thanks for those moms in our world that represent the heart of St. Monica, those who served maternal roles of encouragement, provision, and presence, who gave a warm hug when it was needed along the way. How important a mother’s heart is during those seasons when life seems most challenging. The voice of a mother near us can calm the storms of life.
After his mother’s death, St. Augustine wrote of how she continually prayed for him and fellow believers:
“O Lord ... she took good care of us all when we had received the grace of your baptism and were living as companions before she fell asleep in you. She took good care of us, as though she had been the mother of us all, and served each one as though she had been his daughter” (Confessions, Book IX, Section 9).
Let us all give thanks today for the witness of Christ found in our mothers and those who love us like His own.
The Rev. Steven SaulAssociate Rector, Congregational Care
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