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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
  • Pope prays for peace in Ukraine
    Pope Francis lamented "tension and conflict" in Ukraine and prayed for "peace and tranquility" there on the country's Independence Day.    The pope made his remarks Aug. 24, after praying the Angelus with a crowd in St. Peter's Square.    "My thoughts go in a particular ...
    FULL STORY
    Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, his wife and son light candles in Kiev's St. Sofia Cathedral. (CNS photo/Mikhail Palenck, pool via EPA)
  • Force alone cannot stop 'religious cleansing' in Mideast
    Christians, Muslims and Jews have struggled for hundreds of years to live peacefully alongside each other in the Middle East, "we have never seen the kind of 'religious cleansing' we are witnessing today," said the head of the region's Franciscans.    "All religious communities must raise ...
    FULL STORY
    Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa has led the Franciscans in the Holy Land since May 2004. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Superintendent and principal get iced for ALS challenge
    Showing his support for those suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, the superintendent of Catholic schools for the Cincinnati Archdiocese took part in the ice bucket challenge Aug. 21.    Superintendent Jim Rigg was joined by Tom Otten, principal of Elder Catholic High School, on the school's ...
    FULL STORY
    Tom Otten (left) and Dr. Jim Rigg get iced for ALS challenge (CNS photo, John Stegeman, Catholic Telegraph)
  • 'Mass mob' exceeds 'wildest expectations' in Detroit
    Thom Mann believes Catholics in the Detroit metro area have always wanted to see Detroit's beautiful, historic inner-city churches filled again -- many have even wanted to visit themselves -- but just needed "a little push" to do so.    But what started as a little ...
    FULL STORY
    Mass at St. Albertus Church on August 10 drew 2,000 people. (CNS photo / Jonathan Francis, Archdiocese of Detroit)
  • Pope phones family of slain U.S. journalist
    Pope Francis phoned the bereaved family of a U.S. journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Syria. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the pope phoned relatives of the late James Foley on Aug. 21 to console them for their loss and assure them of ...
    FULL STORY
    James Foley spoke to journalism students at Northwestern University in 2011 (CNS photo/Tommy Giglio, Northwestern via Reuters)
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Monica: The circumstances of St. Monica’s life could have made her a nagging wife, a bitter daughter-in-law and a despairing parent, yet she did not give way to any of these temptations. Although she was a Christian, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had some redeeming features, but he had a violent temper and was licentious. Monica also had to bear with a cantankerous mother-in-law who lived in her home. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety, but always respected her. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his baptism. 
<p>Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine (August 28) , is the most famous. At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy (all flesh is evil)  and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact, she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted. </p><p>When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead, he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine’s trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan. </p><p>In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, St. Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her (see Quote, below). Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste. </p><p>She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.” She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death. </p><p>Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of St. Augustine, especially his <i>Confessions</i>.</p> American Catholic Blog Heavenly Father, I am sure there are frequently tiny miracles where you protect us and are present to us although you always remain anonymous. Help me appreciate how carefully you watch over me and my loved ones all day long, and be sensitive enough to stay close to you. I ask this in Jesus's name. Amen.
 
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FRANCISCAN REFLECTIONS
José Rodriguez Carballo, minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, celebrates the Franciscan tradition.
As Christians, we have been given mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, in a communion that extends far beyond biological ties.
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CATHOLIC GREETINGS
St. Monica
The tears of this fourth-century mother contributed to her son's conversion to Christ.
Back to School
Students and staff will appreciate receiving an e-card from you to begin the new school year.
Birthday
Best wishes for a joyous and peaceful birthday!
Religious Profession
Lord of the harvest, thank you for all those Men and Women Religious who have answered your call to service.
Queenship of Mary
Mary exercises her queenship by serving God and her fellow human beings.
 

BIBLE REFLECTIONS
Sharing the Word - Franciscan Media Productions
St. Monica
Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Bringing Home the Word
The Space Between Faith and Doubt
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Doubt can lead us to question, to reflect, to understand reality at a deeper level.
More Bible Reflections
 
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