Today is a day of hope for mothers of wayward sons.
I am the mother of a son. As such, whenever I see Saint Augustine’s name written anywhere, I now find it difficult to separate thoughts of his life from thoughts of his mother's life, and the pain she endured as Augustine found his way to God after many years spent lost in sin and shame.
It is recorded that Saint Augustine’s wayward resistance to the Lord lasted for seventeen years. Ultimately, Saint Monica witnessed his acceptance of Christ after following him to Milan, Italy. As we give thanks to God for the life of Saint Augustine on his memorial today, we can reflect on the joy Monica must have felt in that season when her son finally found his way to the heart of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.
Perhaps you do not have a son of your own, but it is likely you know a lost or wayward son. Perhaps it is your own son, or your brother, your cousin, or a friend. There are many men who, like Augustine, have turned from the faith they were raised in, have turned from their families, have turned from God. And there are countless mothers who, like Monica, pray unceasingly for their hearts and their return home to Him.
The conversion of Saint Augustine, wayward for so many years only to become a Doctor of the Church, is a brilliant ray of hope for all who pray for these lost sons. Let us revive our prayers for these men today, keeping hope and faith alive that God has the power to work in their hearts and invite them back to a life lived in Him.
This powerful novena to Saint Augustine for his intercession is able to be started at any time.
Emily Wilson Hussem planned her whole life to become a sports reporter but turned out to be a Catholic musician and speaker at the hand of God. She lives out of her suitcase and travels across the world speaking to people of all ages. The heart of her ministry is offering encouragement to teen girls in search of their true identity, and she loves every second of it. She is the author of I Choose the Sky and Go Bravely. You can find out more about her here.