Thursday, August 27, 2015

How do you react to people who annoy you or with whom you cannot agree? - Daily Reflections August 27,2015

Monica was born to a Christian family in the Roman province of North Africa. She was given a strict education. She was taught great self-discipline, which would explain her strong character later in life. A person will only get a strong character when he or she has learned discipline in younger years. As a young girl she was married to a much older man, Patricius, a pagan womanizer.
       When other women showed her the marks of blows from their husbands, she simply told them that they often brought this treatment upon themselves — by their tongues. She never nagged at her husband, as so many wives do.
       The heaviest cross Monica had to carry was her son Augustine. At the age of 19, he had already embraced the Manichean heresy and led an immoral life. Like many young people, Augustine found her guidance suffocating. And so he escaped to Rome.
       For more than 10 years, Monica cried and prayed for the conversion of her son, who not only had become a heretic but also had a mistress for many years, with whom he had at least one son out of wedlock. Finally, her prayers were answered when Augustine was baptized. A few months later, she fell seriously ill and died at the age of 56.
       What does Monica’s life tell us? Today, with our instant coffee, instant noodles and instant cures, we have little patience for things that take time. Likewise, we want instant answers to our prayers. Monica is a model of patience. Her patience with her husband, her long years of prayer, coupled with a strong, well-disciplined character, finally led to the conversion of her hot-tempered husband and her wayward son.
       We all need Monica’s long patience to cope with the difficult persons around us. May St. Monica help us in this important area of our lives — patience and unwavering trust when we pray! Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How do you react to people who annoy you or with whom you cannot agree? Do you easily give up on your prayer when it is not immediately answered?
Lord, patience is a gift only You can give. It is also a fruit of trust in You and efforts to imitate You. Lord, today I beg for this gift through the intercession of St. Monica.

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