One of the tendencies many of us have is to try and make things happen on our own. This is true of me; it is easier for me to try and fix something than to pray about it even though I know that I am petitioning the Holy One of the universe who loves me and loves the one I want to help.
This morning I was listening to a sermon by Francis Chan, the Christian pastor who wrote Crazy Love. He confessed to the same sort of tendency, and he then went on to point out how powerless we are to make things happen in the lives of people we care about and even in our own lives. His sermon is a reminder of the tremendous love Jesus has for each of us and His ability to act on the behalf of those we love when we petition Him in prayer.
I read somewhere that God may call us to do something after we have prayed, but there is no point in doing anything until we have prayed. I don't know who said it and I may be misquoting it, but the thought, I think, is true. So as we are concerned and grieving over loved ones who are not walking with the Lord, let us bend our knee and petition our loving God for their deliverance.
Here is the link to Francis Chan's sermon.
Friday, November 24, 2017
Why This Blog?
---November 24, 2017
The idea of this blog came to me several years ago when, in the midst of great sorrow over my son Samuel, I conceived of a place where Christian parents--especially mothers--who were grieving over children who had either left the faith or were struggling with serious addictions or both could connect with others who shared the same sorrow. I envisioned it as a place where Christian parents could “meet” with others whose children had strayed, in one way or another, and pray for one another and for our children. “Where two or three are gathered in my name,” said Jesus, “there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).
In my deepest grief over my son who had seen his marriage fall apart and turned to alcohol for relief, I found myself isolated, unable to talk to my closest friends in any depth about this. Sam had also left the church, finding the teachings of the Church an inadequate bulwark against the persistent messages of the media. It was difficult to talk with friends and acquaintances about this for many reasons. If only there was a place where I could share my pain with the purpose of enlisting others to pray with me for Sam. And I, in turn, could pray with sympathy for their sons and daughters.
As a child I read a story about a girl who was looking for an elf to do her chores for her. She was told to go to a particular pond on a moonlit night, look in the water, and she would see the elf she was seeking. When she got there, she was to recite the following verse, completing it with the image she saw. “Twist me and turn me and show me the elf, I looked in the water and saw ________.” Of course, she saw only her own reflection in the water and the only word she could think of to complete the ditty was “myself.”
Through this story I felt God whisper to me that I was to begin such a blog. It seemed beyond me. Three years ago I was in the midst of intense grief over Sam and his problems. Still, I secured the email address for this blog, though I did nothing further. About three months ago, I finally bought the web address. And today I have written the justification for this blog. A very slow “obedience in the same direction.”
I am a Catholic convert from Protestantism, hence the name St. Monica’s Place. St. Monica was the mother of Augustine, perhaps the most influential Church Father after the Apostle Paul. Her prayers and tears for the salvation of her son were instrumental, I believe, in restoring Augustine to the faith he had been raised in and on which he had turned his back in his youth. (check out “Who Was St. Monica Anyway?” on the main page for more information on this amazing woman.) However, this is not a Catholic blog per se; it is for all Christian parents who are grieving for children gone astray.
I invite you to share your stories so that we can pray for one another and for our children.* As we gather together online, may we portray the dogged determination to hold onto our Lord and our God for our children. As Jacob did when he wrestled with the angel, let us determine with him: “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Gen. 32:26 NIV).
*All submissions will be previewed and those posted possibly edited for clarity or length.