The next two days mark the feasts of two great saints of the Church, a mother and a son, whose lives give testimony to a sure-fire method of evangelizing those we love.
St. Monica (August 27) is the mother of St. Augustine (August 28), though Augustine was no saint when Monica began her earnest intercession. At that time he was a pagan and a member of the heretical Manichean sect. He was known to be a carouser who lived with a woman to whom he had fathered a child. A brilliant mind, he was “devoted” to his views and his lifestyle, and had no intention of converting to the Catholic faith.
St. Monica was distraught about her son’s dissolute ways and decided to do something about it. She prayed. And in the end, her prayers won the soul of her son.
What was it that made St. Monica’s prayers so effective? I think five strategies are primarily responsible. Perhaps you can implement them as you seek to evangelize those you love.
“What toil we must endure, what fatigue, while we are attempting to climb hills and the summits of mountains! What, that we may ascend to heaven! If you consider the promised reward, what you endure is less. Immortality is given to the one who perseveres; everlasting life is offered; the Lord promises His Kingdom.” – St. Cyprian of Carthage
“I tell you again and again, my brethren, that in the Lord’s garden are to be found not only the roses of His martyrs. In it there are also the lilies of the virgins, the ivy of wedded couples, and the violets of widows.”