Uncle Eddy's E-mails -- August 27
Saint Monica, Widow (entered heaven in 387)
I don’t see why you have to give up on your professors. You just started classes! What did you do, make a list after your first week and cross off the poor teachers who are blinded by atheism and poisonous ideologies? Did you just write them off? Is that really the Christian thing to do?
I know you were scalded by last year’s experience. But just because you invested a lot of time and effort into bringing that poor graduate student into the Catholic fold and then she ended up joining the Aquarian Aurora and Aloe Association doesn’t mean all hope is lost – either for her or for others who are in need of Christ. Remember, the Christian’s weapon is love, and one of love’s characteristics is determination. Love doesn’t give up. Never. Ever. It dies on the cross instead, and rises again. Today’s saint is a model of determined love. She can be your patron for the year.
Monica spent over ten years pleading with God through tears and entreaties to bring her wayward son into the Christian fold. At times she spent entire nights in prayer; more often than not, when she allowed herself a few hours of rest she cried herself to sleep. She had grown up a Christian in northern Africa, but had been married to a pagan. Her husband tolerated her faith, though his temper and dissolute living (as well as his mother, who was a most disagreeable person and resided with them) caused her constant grief and difficulty. Eventually, however, her prayers and Christian example won them both over to the faith a year before her husband’s death. At about that time, their eldest son (Saint Augustine) was finishing up his elite education and notified his mother that he had embraced the Manichaeism (a heresy). Nothing could have pained her more. She spared no efforts to save him, arranging meetings for him with eminent churchmen, arguing with him herself, disciplining him by taking away family privileges, and always, day after day, year after year, praying for him. Only after she had pursued him to Rome and Milan, where Augustine finally met his match in St Ambrose, was her prayer answered.
She stuck it out. Why? Because she loved. Love simply can’t give up. So when you feel like giving up on people, don’t. Even if you have to leave them alone for a while, don’t let the devil steal your love. And when you feel like your love has died, act like it hasn’t, and it will revive. Trust me; my love dies every day in this stultifying corporate office cubicle, and then it’s born again.
Your devoted uncle, Eddy
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