Friday, August 27, 2010

Confession and the Tears of Saint Monica

When I was studying the Sacrament of Penance in seminary, no one told me that many a Confession would be followed by tears. 

I am not referring here to tears of contrition.  Rather, they are the tears of mothers and fathers and grandparents, grieving for their family members who no longer practice the Faith.  The Absolution and Dismissal having been concluded, I am ready for the next Penitent, but then come those words, "Father, this is not about Confession, but there is something else that I am just so broken up about, I don't know what to do." 

No two families are exactly alike.  Nevertheless, many Catholics today have children, grandchildren, in-laws who were raised in the Faith, perhaps with years of Catholic schooling, and yet are no longer practicing the Faith, no longer raising their children in the Church.

And so we weep.

Two words of counsel.  First, talk to your priest about it.  Again, no two families are alike, and there is no one-size-fits-all way to bring loved ones back to the Church, but many pastors have gained tested wisdom over the years about how to help the lost sheep find their way back to the fold.

Second, talk to Saint Monica about it.  Cry out to her, even as she cried out to the Lord to save her wayward son, Augustine.  Through her intercession, Christ will bring you wisdom.  Christ will bring you hope.  Christ will extend His grace to your lost family members to bring them back to Himself.

Don't stop praying, and a few tears won't hurt, either!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Feast of St. Monica.

    Suggestion: Check out the prayerful podcast of Sr. Monica, a Franciscan novice, painting an icon of her patroness: