I’ve been into the saints lately. This sounds funny like I’m telling you about a new TV show or the old TV show we just happened to record because Showtime ran for free all weekend (Hello, Shameless. I love everything about you).
Anyway, I’m into the saints.
In eighth grade, I chose the Confirmation name Monica. I’m certain the name had nothing to do with what Saint Monica represented, and more to do with the fact that I envisioned Monica as a unique name which belonged to a cool girl who wore a lot of eye make-up and could skate backwards to “Eye of the Tiger”.
It turns out, St. Monica is the saint of wives and abuse victims.
Her marriage to a much older, abusive husband was arranged. Monica’s live-in, mother-in-law proved awful, and Monica’s oldest son, Augustine was trouble, the partying, world ambition kind of trouble.
So, Monica prayed. In fact, Monica prayed for her son, Augustine, for seventeen years straight. She prayed so hard and long that even priests began dodging Monica; her prayers seemed hopeless. Spoiler alert: Augustine later became St. Augustine and Monica’s pagan husband and cranky mother-in-law also converted.
As I’m digging online through pages of saints, stories pop, and I think of the millions before us, who lived our trials in a different day and a different place, and I feel comforted by the idea that no problem is new.
Poverty, loneliness, helplessness, insecurity, jealousy, desperation have all been lifted in prayer by legions of people before us, and yet, we stand and pray about the very same things.
We are not alone.
Praying for you and your struggles today, the ones you toss out for the world to see and the ones you keep hidden.