Updated: Mar 20, 2022
It’s inspirational to me that St. Monica prayed so long and so hard for her son, St. Augustine. I learned that it was her 17 years of prayers that led to the conversion of St. Augustine, so that he, too, would believe in God. He not only converted to believing and living the Catholic faith, but he also became a bishop and doctor of the church!
I read “St. Monica Struggled to Surrender Her Son to God” on CatholicStand.com and I thought it was interesting since I had never read or heard the point of view that Monica struggled to surrender her son to God. From reading the article, I thought it would be wise for Catholic single women to yield to God in surrendering and trusting God more.
I thought Vu’s article was organized, very well written, and her points were supported well with passages from Augustine’s Confessions.
Vu describes St. Monica as fearful and worried, controlling, and overbearing. Because St. Monica was so fearful and worried about her son not believing in God, Vu writes that “Monica seeks to protect him from any potential dangers to his faith. In his youth, his mother decides not to have him baptized because ‘if [he] continued to live, [he] should defile [him]self again with sin and, after baptism, the guilt of pollution would be greater and more dangerous’ (Confessions 1.11).”
I agree with Vu that by not baptizing St. Augustine that St. Monica displayed a lack of trust in what God can do with people’s mistakes. St. Monica wanted to protect St. Augustine so much that she withheld something that could have benefited him.
St. Monica wanted to control St. Augustine’s actions. I believe that if a wife is controlling just as St. Monica was controlling that it can be detrimental in a marriage relationship. For a marriage to be valid, both partners come in with their free will. When a wife wants to control every action of her husband, then the marriage loses the quality that it’s a partnership with both partners having free will. When one partner in a marriage is so controlling and overbearing, the other spouse can feel that each action is micromanaged. The joy of a loving relationship is not there and the other spouse can feel resentful and may actually seek to avoid the overcontrolling spouse. Maybe, for some women who have the tendency to distrust, God is giving them time as single women to develop more fully the trust in men and more trust in God.
Vu showed that St. Monica was overbearing in that she wanted to control Augustine by trying to prevent St. Augustine from going to Rome and she wanted to push him to marriage. Vu also shows that St. Monica does remain faithful to prayer and begins to allow more trust in God, rather than her own actions to convert St. Augustine.
Vu writes that St. Monica has an inner transformation where “She initially struggled with relying more on herself than on God, yet the common thread of unceasing prayer remains woven throughout Augustine’s account of her.”
If you are a single woman who has been more of a controlling person of others, maybe God is giving you this time of singlehood to learn to trust God more and to learn to be more trusting of others as well. How have you been praying to God? Have you been praying to God, “do this” or “do that”? How about pray that God change your heart to trust God more? Keep praying like St. Monica did and yield to God like she did.