I think this is the first blog I have written that has “saint” in the title. Now, just to be clear, I know that in the New Testament, anyone who is a disciple of Jesus is called a ‘saint’. So there are no special ‘saints’ — at least not from a Biblical perspective. However, it is valid to have spiritual and theological ‘heroes’ from days of yore. In older Christian circles, these heroes became known as ‘saints’. Nowadays, referring to someone from the past as a saint is almost like referring to their whole name — it becomes a way to clearly identify who you are talking about.
I do not know lots and lots about her, but I have long viewed St. Monica as a hero. She was the mother of Augustine. What I find so exemplary was her decades long persistence in praying for the conversion of her brilliant son. She watched him go from success to success in academic and public life. She watched him go from philosophy to philosophy. She watched him go from passion to passion, and through it all she prayed for his conversion. She prayed for years and years despite the fact that for much of the time her son seemed to moving farther from Jesus rather than closer to Jesus. He finally came to Jesus and, as a follower of Jesus, used his brilliant intellect to defend the Christian faith and even change the course and shape of intellectual history.
We know from the Bible that God hears the prayers of His people. “… But in everything by prayer… let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6 ESV). So God hears our prayers and sometimes He says “Yes” and sometimes He says “No” and sometimes He says “not yet”. But we are too captivated with instantaneous results. If God does not answer the way we want right away, we too easily tire. Sometimes God calls us to persevere in prayer — a perseverance that can span years or even decades, “… praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:18 ESV).
So friends, think of Monica. Think on God’s Word.
Under the mercy,