Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Saint Augustine

On August 28th the Church remembers St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church. Augustine was about 37 when he became a priest. Here is a except from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Augustine did not think of entering the priesthood, and, through fear of the episcopacy, he even fled from cities in which an election was necessary. One day, having been summoned to Hippo by a friend whose soul's salvation was at stake, he was praying in a church when the people suddenly gathered about him, cheered him, and begged Valerius, the bishop, to raise him to the priesthood. In spite of his tears Augustine was obliged to yield to their entreaties, and was ordained in 391.

He was elected Bishop of Hippo 5 years later in A.D. 396. All this was after he had lived with his girlfriend for 14 years and had a child with her. He was also member if the Manichean cult.

Saint Augustine is a patron of this blog and a quote from his Confessions is at the top of the blog. At 37 and given his dissolute life before his conversion I wonder how many vocation directors would consider him as a candidate for the priesthood?

Saint Augustine, pray for us!

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Saint Monica

Today, August 27th, is the feast of Saint Monica, mother of Saint Augustine. Saint Monica prayed for her son's conversion for 17 years before she saw him come to the faith of the Catholic Church. She died shortly thereafter in A.D. 387.

Thinking about this reminded me of the Saint Monica in my life, my mom. I was raised Catholic, left the Church for about 25 years, joined a Southern Baptist Church (in upstate NY!), went to a Southern Baptist seminary (in Texas!) and eventually stopped attending church altogether, although I still considered myself a Christian. I came back to the Catholic Church in 2004
(more details here).

I am sure that my Mom was praying for me all those years. She passed away in January of this year, a little over two years after her prayers for me were answered. I picture her and Saint Monica comparing notes on their sons. Monica was told "the child of those tears shall never perish." Amen.

Mom, I still need your prayers. I'm glad I have them.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Late to the Grapes

In the Gospel of Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus tells the story of a man who has two sons. He asks both to work in his vineyard. The first says no, but later goes to the vineyard. The second says he will, but doesn’t go. Jesus asks, “Which did his father’s will?” They answer, “The first.”

Those with late vocations are like that first son. They may or may not have actively said no to God and his call for their lives. Perhaps they weren’t ready to hear God’s still small voice until after turning 40 or later. But when they finally hear the Spirit in their hearts, they go to the vineyard; they do the Father’s will.

Let’s pray that the Church will receive them so that, like Pope Benedict XVI, they will become humble workers in God’s vineyard.

St. Clare, pray for us.