Patience is not one of my strong suits. Considering that one of my mother’s favorite sayings was, “Dear Lord, give me patience – and I want it right now”, there might be a correlation. After all, my mother influenced my life like no other. When my two younger brothers grew into unruly teens and Mom sought the advice of our priest friend, he advised her to have patience. His words of wisdom stuck with me too.
“Have patience. You have raised them right and, in their own time, they will come back to their upbringing.”
Time Will Tell
As men in their forties, with families of their own, I am happy to share that this piece of wisdom became reality. Both are great family men, regular churchgoers, and dependable employees. Had Mom lived to see them at maturity, she would have been proud. Her legacy of being a faithful Catholic is still alive in the form of her children.
Patience Is Difficult
As with many aspects of being a human creature, however, patience is difficult. Just as I love cake more than vegetables and carbs more than fiber, I long for definitive answers – quickly. This is especially true when it concerns Eternal Life for my loved ones.
I see the same flaws with which I struggle reflected back to me in my children. Although they are great parents, their own characteristics sometimes jolt me into acknowledging my influence and many flaws.
The Early Years
This was never more apparent than when our children were in their teens and early adulthood. As with every parent, my husband and I endured many a sleepless night – waiting for the crunch of gravel in the driveway. With the entire family safely ensconced in the house once again, it was finally time to soundly sleep.
Inconsistency, immaturity, and a carefree social life continued into the twenties for some of our offspring. The resulting worries to us, their parents, meant fervent prayers and sleepless nights. Yet, the prayed for results failed to come – at least not as quickly as we would have liked.
Saint Monica, the Epitome of Patience
Like my mother before me, I sought reassurance but it failed to come quickly enough for my impatience heart. It was around that time that I became intimately familiar with Saint Monica. Not only did she have a notoriously rebellious son, she also endured an abusive husband. Both men in her life needed heavy doses of prayer and Monica needed long-term endurance.
The prayers of this holy woman were not quickly answered. Yet she endured. Her prayer life simply intensified as she stubbornly stuck to her mission – heaven for both son and husband. Saint Monica was the epitome of patience. In tears, Monica even approached her bishop who told her, “the child of those tears shall never perish.”
Patience Wins Out
It took a long sixteen years for Saint Monica to realize her mission. Yet in the end, prayer won out. Like the persistent widow, she just kept asking. The resulting spiritual salvation of her loved ones was her – and their – eternal reward.
Often we fail to grasp the feebleness of our poor human efforts. Our innate perception of our own power fools us into thinking we can solve any problem if we just try hard enough. When this resolution fails to materialize, we become discouraged or bitter. Yet, no matter how formidable the task at hand, all we need is divine assistance. By the intercession of the saints and angels, through the love and power of God, all things are possible.
Love Begets Patience
If we truly love our children, with an unselfish supernatural love, we will nurture and develop patience. No matter how badly they disappoint, no matter how much love it takes, our consistency in asking Almighty God for His favor can have an Eternal effect on our loved ones.
Saint Monica, Pray for us!
All the Angels and Saints, Pray for us!
Blessed Mother, Pray for us!
Almighty God, Hear Us!