Persevere in Prayer! Never give up!

Who is the patron saint of conversion? Here’s a clue: It’s a mom! Go figure!

This coming week we will celebrate a mom, a saint who persevered, who tirelessly cared and prayed for the conversion of her son for many years!  Who is this saint? St. Monica!

As her son Augustine continued on the wayward path, she chose to not give up. Instead of falling to despair, she focused on the faith and hope that is Jesus Christ. She chose to continue journeying with Augustine throughout his life until he converted to the faith.  St. Monica truly shows us what the heart of a loving mother is all about—someone who walks with you and never gives up, no matter what.  Each and every one of us have family and friends who have fallen off the path of faith. Whatever the reason, St. Monica shows us what to do: keep walking with them; never stop praying for them; and never give up! And when you feel like giving up, turn to her and ask her to give you that extra push to keep fighting the good fight.  I love the Collect at Mass for St. Monica. It describes beautifully what moms go through and how God relates to us during these times:

O God, who console the sorrowful and who mercifully accepted the motherly tears of St. Monica for the conversion of her son Augustine, grant us, through the intercession of them both, that we may bitterly regret our sins and find the grace of your pardon.

Through the tears, compassion and prayers of our family and friends, our lives will be positively impacted. Our conversion will deepen.  This prayer gets to the heart of what conversion is all about: reaching a point where we no longer want sin to be a part of our lives, so we turn to Jesus and ask for the grace of a new day!

In a special way, I want to thank all moms, dads, guardians, God parents, and sponsors for your prayers and support as we celebrate Confirmation this weekend. Because of your faithfulness and dedication to your sons and daughters over the years, they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and enter deeper into the life of conversion. As they go off to high school, I pray they will continue to walk with the Lord in all things. And if they stray from the path, ask St. Monica for the strength to continue to walk with them through thick and thin. This motherly saint will not fail!

Lastly, I want to encourage, challenge and invite you to pray for those you know who may have thought about becoming Catholic in the past. Pray for the courage to reach out to them. Please invite them to our RCIA Information Night on September 8 @ 7:15 pm in the Upper Room. Pray that we can become the ones who are willing to walk with them in their journey of faith, to persevere in prayer for them as Monica did for Augustine.

God’s peace and joy be with you,

Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler