The Feast of Saint Augustine completes the Feast of Saint Monica

“The Conversion of Saint Augustine,” Fra Angelico

Today’s Feast of Saint Augustine, completes yesterday’s feast of his mother, Saint Monica. Saint Monica’s faithfulness and persistence in prayer won the conversion of her son. More than just conversion, she won a great bishop and doctor of the Church.

Saint Monica received a special grace from the Lord: being able to see the fruit of her prayer. Often, we do not see the fruit of our prayers. Perhaps even less frequently do we see the people of whose prayers we have become beneficiaries.

I often like to think that the prayers of a cloistered sister or the suffering of a missionary in a distant country were offered for a poor soul–that just happened to be me! We may never see the effect of anything we offer to God, but if we are honest we know that we are beneficiaries of the offerings which others have made to God.

May we not be like the scribes and pharisees of today’s Gospel who think themselves righteous. Instead, may we know our own frailty that we may trust in God’s mercy and the prayers of Saint Augustine.

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I was privileged to offer Mass this morning at the Monastery of Saint Clare of Assisi in Andover, Massachusetts. The Poor Clare Nuns are an enclosed contemplative community who live according to the monastic rule written by Saint Clare.

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