Friday, August 27, 2010

The Tears of St. Monica

Does God really answer our prayers? If He is eternal and unchanging, as the orthodox Christian tradition has always confessed, what’s the point in praying if we can’t actually change His mind?

Medieval theology would develop sophisticated accounts of the way in which human freedom genuinely participates in the execution of God’s sovereign, inviolable will. We do well to pray as we need, for God has ordained that we be given certain blessings, only having prayed for them.

Centuries earlier, St. Augustine had laid the foundations for such insight: “In prayer, there occurs a turning of the heart to Him who is always ready to give if we will but take what He gives.”

Furthermore, in his mother, the Doctor of Grace had a living icon of the way in which our petitions cooperate with the providence of the Creator. While tears are a natural outflow of sorrow for sin, in St. Monica, we see the meritorious power of weeping. Through St. Augustine’s narration in The Confessions, we receive a basic catechesis about what to keep in mind when praying for others who seem beyond all hope.
Read the rest here.

Thanks to Sue Cifelli for sharing.

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