The Mother of St. Augustine
by Louis Victor Emile Bougaud (Bishop of Laval), 1868
"'Thus,' he added, 'it will be with your son, he will find out the folly of this heresy for himself.' And as Monica, who would not believe him, went on imploring him with tears to see Augustine and try to convince him, the venerable bishop, touched by her importunity, exclaimed, 'Go in peace. It cannot be that the son of such tears should perish.' This word touched Monica to the quick. It seemed to have come direct from heaven. She returned home strengthened, encouraged, and consoled.
In this noble thought we seem to see two things: first, that it is impossible to the eye of faith that earnest prayers offered by man to God should not be heard and answered in His own time and way; that if one prayer above all others reaches the ear of God, it is that of a mother for her child; and secondly, that it is equally impossible that the child of such a mother should be lost, for in his heart she must have breathed some portion of the fire and love which consumes her own, and implanted in his breast that imperishable conscience which, though now it may sleep, will one day wake and speak with an irresistible force.
Christian mothers! you, whose sons are breaking your hearts by their wild and evil courses, do not be discouraged. Under the burning lava of their passions there still remains the little seed you have planted in their childhood; the spark of faith remains, though covered over for the time by cold and apparently dead ashes. The souls of your children are like vases of alabaster which have once contained a sweet and precious perfume, and which retain a portion of the delicious aroma even after being profaned by a thousand viler uses. Only for this, you must labour; you must weep; you must pray; you must accuse, not Heaven, but yourselves; you must smite your breasts and weep that you have not yet wept enough: and be assured that your prodigal sons will be restored to you in that day when you shall have filled up the measure of those sufferings which win from God the redemption of your children."--Page 63 - 65
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