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Persistence in Love

“Don’t push your beliefs on me.”

“I’m glad your faith fills your needs. It’s not for me.”

“Keep your religion out of this.”

Ever heard a comment like these? Living in a culture that suggests we keep our beliefs categorized and privately filed away in a folder reserved for church attendance, it’s hard being Catholic in the every day.

Just like the Apostles in today’s First Reading (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8), we’ve been entrusted with the Gospel. Most of us yearn to share with those we love, but maybe we’re tired of being shot down or a lack of results.

It’s discouraging to be surrounded by people who believe faith should be a private slice of our life rather than the primary seasoning permeating our values and decision making. I’ve heard, “Good for you, but that’s not for me” more times than I want to remember. I find it tempting to do exactly that: keep it to myself.

Today we honor Saint Monica, a saintly woman known for her persistence in prayer. She was a Christian but was married off to a pagan who criticized her piety. Nonetheless, Monica steadfastly lived out her faith, daily praying for her family’s souls. Finally, a year before his death, her husband converted.

Her eldest son, however, still pursued a life permeated by heresy and lust. I can only imagine how much her heart must have ached, watching him choose sin and selfishness repeatedly.

And yet, Monica didn’t give up. She patiently prayed and fasted for his salvation. Not only that, she followed him around from country to country as a steadfast example of Jesus’ love and presence in his life.

A few years before her own death, Saint Monica received the gift of her son being baptized into the Catholic faith. Today he’s known to us as Saint Augustine, a beloved Doctor of the Church. Monica’s relentless petitions for the conversion of her family were honored, and now we have this holy woman to look to and be inspired by as we pray for the conversion of those nearest us.

Monica didn’t give up. // Sarah Ortiz Click To Tweet

Learn more about this extraordinary woman’s persistence and take inspiration from her life.

Sarah Ortiz is a Catholic convert, wife, and mother to four boys while living in a 200 year old farmhouse. When not folding laundry, she can be found reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or snagging amazing antique furniture deals. You can find out more about her here

4 Comments

  • Reply
    Ashley Lienhart
    August 27, 2019 at 10:23 am

    For years I’ve prayed not even for conversion of one of my dearest friends, but just a willingness to attend church. His last memories of being in church were for his Grandmother’s funeral, and he refused to go to a place that caused him so much grief. I prayed and prayed for years, knowing God would help him find his happiness again. It was my biggest prayer. A few months ago, after catching up with him, he informed me that he had been attending church. SISTERS!! The pure, unwavering joy I felt from that prayer being answered was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Like Monica, it may take years and years of prayer to come to fruition, but oh is God so so good!!! Happy Tuesday everyone!!! 💛

    • Reply
      Lindsay Durrenberger
      August 27, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Wow!!! So cool!!

    • Reply
      Charmaine Mendez
      August 27, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      What a blessing, Ashley! It’s beautiful that you persevered in prayer! 💜🙏🏼 I’m praying for the conversion of my father and brother. I see some improvements, but still waiting on full acceptance of the Catholic Faith from them.

  • Reply
    Mary
    August 27, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you, Sarah. As I read your reflection, there are two sayings that come to my mind: 1-Never give up and 2-With God all things are possible.

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