Episode 101, "What Would Monica Do?"
Patti Maguire Armstrong and Roxanne Beauclair Salonen are known in Catholic circles for their numerous accomplishments and award-winning writings. Today, we discuss their latest book that impacts virtually every Catholic family, “What Would Monica Do? Consolation, hope, and inspiration in the spirit of St. Monica for those bearing the cross of a loved one who is away from the Faith.” The book is available at AscensionPress.com
The Monica Impact
This book impacts so many because, in today’s secular world, many have left the church even though raised Catholic, attended catholic schools, etc. It is the most common reason people ask for prayers when I am at a conference. St. Monica is the most well-known mother of a child who rebelled against his faith. She prayed for many years for his conversion and was met with great difficulties. He returned to the faith, becoming a saint, and contributed much to the Church. We know him as St. Augustine.
The Struggle and Hope of Parenting Today
There are so many adverse cultural influences, including the church scandals, and yet many parents often shake their heads and ask, “where did I go wrong?” That is normal, but at the same time, unfair. Children who leave the Church often have faithful parents, and there are examples of priests and faithful who were raised in a pagan background. God works in mysterious ways, and we must never lose hope. Possessing their own free will, children need to find and accept their own faith, not just their parent’s.
What to Do with Natural Emotions
Parents experience and have so many emotions in this difficult time. The authors talk about the need to keep praying, never lose hope, and stay close to the Sacraments. Anger, feeling like a failure, anxiety as to what will happen to their soul, and deepest fear can assault parents, and we must be spiritually on guard. It is a form of suffering, and we must keep the words, "Jesus I trust in You” in our hearts, although it is easy to say and hard to live. Anger and lack of forgiveness must be rejected if parents are to live like Saint Monica a remain in Christ.
Jesus, I Trust in You...
At the end of the day, we must be the most loving parents we can and live the message of mercy. We must forgive and be examples of Jesus Christ, practicing humility continued prayer with ongoing hope is vital, and we must turn everything over to God as we are not in control.