Thursday, September 10, 2009
St. Monica: More than a Mother
On Sunday, August 30, the Holy Father gave this talk as a part of the praying of the Angelus.
In [The Confessions of Saint Augustine] we learn that St Augustine drank in the name of Jesus with his mother's milk, and that his mother brought him up in the Christian religion whose principles remained impressed upon him even in his years of spiritual and moral dissipation.
Monica never ceased to pray for him...St. Augustine not only converted but decided to embrace the monastic life and, having returned to Africa, founded a community of monks.
...St. Monica had become for this son of hers, 'more than a mother, the source of his Christianity.'
...The history of Christianity is spangled with innumerable examples of holy parents and authentic Christian families who accompanied the life of generous priests and pastors of the Church...Let us think of Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini, a husband a wife, very close to us, who lived at the end of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th and whose beatification by my Venerable Predecessor, John Paul II in October 2001 coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation 'Familiaris consortio.'
In addition to illustrating the value of marriage and the tasks of the family, this Document urged spouses to be especially committed to the path of sanctity which, drawing grace and strength from the Sacrament of Marriage, accompanies them throughout their life (cf. n. 56). When married couples devote themselves generously to the education of children, guiding them and orienting them to the discovery of God's plan of love, they are preparing that fertile spiritual ground from which vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life spring up and develop. This reveals how closely connected they are, marriage and virginity illumine each other on the basis of their common roots in spousal love of Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters, in the Year for Priests, let us pray 'through the intercession of the Holy Cure of Ars, [that] Christian families become churches in miniature in which all vocations and all charisms, given by the Holy Spirit, are welcomed and appreciated' [from the Prayer for the Year for Priests]. May the Blessed Virgin, whom we shall all now invoke together, obtain this grace for us. (from L'Osservatore Romano, n. 35 (2009), 2 September 2009).
One of the central emphases of our Association is the need for holy families, in the imitation of the Holy Family of Nazareth, in order to promote and nurture holiness and the "preparing that fertile spiritual ground from which vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life spring up and develop" in order to build up the Body of Christ, the Church, the Bride of the Lamb.