Saint Monica mother of Augustine
Acts, Chapter 10, verse 22
answered, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and GOD-FEARING man,
respected by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to summon
you to his house and to hear what you have to say.”
God is inclusive. He loves all of us; there are no exclusive country clubs or universities in heaven. Here God reveals to Peter a new perspective that even the hated Romans have a place at the table of the Lord and this table is big enough to sit the entire world.
"Faith cannot save without virtue" (St. John Chrysostom).
St. Monica is an example of those holy matrons of the ancient Church who proved very influential in their own quiet way. Through prayer and tears she gave the great Augustine to the Church of God, and thereby earned for herself a place of honor in the history of God's kingdom on earth. The Confessions of St. Augustine provide certain biographical details. Born of Christian parents about the year 331 at Tagaste in Africa, Monica was reared under the strict supervision of an elderly nurse who had likewise reared her father. In the course of time, she was given in marriage to a pagan named Patricius. Besides other faults, he possessed a very irascible nature; it was in this school of suffering that Monica learned patience. It was her custom to wait until his anger had cooled; only then did she give a kindly remonstrance. Evil-minded servants had prejudiced her mother-in-law against her, but Monica mastered the situation by kindness and sympathy. Her marriage was blessed with three children: Navigius, Perpetua, who later became a nun, and Augustine, her problem child.
According to the custom of the day, baptism was not administered to infants soon after birth. It was as an adolescent that Augustine became a catechumen, but possibly through a premonition of his future sinful life, Monica postponed his baptism even when her son desired it during a severe illness. When Augustine was nineteen years old, his father Patricius died; by patience and prayer Monica had obtained the conversion of her husband. The youthful Augustine caused his mother untold worry by indulging in every type of sin and dissipation. As a last resort after all her tears and entreaties had proved fruitless, she forbade him entrance to her home; but after a vision she received him back again. In her sorrow a certain bishop consoled her: "Don't worry, it is impossible that a son of so many tears should be lost."
When Augustine was planning his journey to Rome, Monica wished to accompany him. He outwitted her, however, and had already embarked when she arrived at the docks. Later she followed him to Milan, ever growing in her attachment to God. St. Ambrose held her in high esteem, and congratulated Augustine on having such a mother. At Milan she prepared the way for her son's conversion. Finally, the moment came when her tears of sorrow changed to tears of joy. Augustine was baptized. And her lifework was completed. She died in her fifty-sixth year, as she was returning to Africa. The description of her death is one of the most beautiful passages in her son's famous “Confessions”.
The Role of Woman as Mother
Reflections on the richness and gift of being a mother, thought provoking particularly on Marian feasts and saints such as St. Monica. Woman is called to be a giver of life. Not physical life alone, but life on the psychological and spiritual planes as well. Woman's greatness lies in the sphere of nurture: in bearing, fostering, enlarging and expanding life.
Motherhood, in its essence, is a mystery of fecundity. All life on the earth is conceived and nurtured in darkness, brought to birth, sustained and protected until it reaches maturity. Motherhood is the fullness of this organic process, crowning nature with its most perfect fruit--the human being. Mankind has always linked motherhood with the mystery of nature's abundance. In literature and folklore, the warm and fertile "Mother Earth" becomes the most common image of woman's fruitfulness. "I sing of the earth, firmly founded mother of all, supporting on her soil all that lives," wrote Homer, and poets ever since have celebrated the mother's fecundity in everything budding, blossoming, ripening, bearing fruit: the flowering meadow, the full blossoming rose, the fair olive tree, the field of ripening grain, the vine laden with its rich, red grapes.
The ancient pagans stood in wonder before the life-giving power of woman, sensing that motherhood somehow transcended nature to touch the divine. Christianity elevates and purifies the truth which the pagan world could only glimpse. The triune God, the infinitely fruitful, wills to make His creatures partake of His own creative power. Both men and women reflect the divine creativity, but differently. The man as father, generating new life, is an image of the eternal Father "from whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named." The woman as mother, nurturing the seed with her own substance, bearing the new life into the world, bringing it to maturity, reflects God's nurturing love which sustains the world. God Himself has told us that He stands as mother to us: "Shall not I that make others to bring forth children myself bring forth, saith the Lord. Shall I that give generation to others be barren? Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, who are born up by my womb. As one whom the mother caresses, so will I comfort you."
But the supreme realization of woman's fecundity lies in the spiritual order. At the summit of human fruitfulness stands Mary, the mother of Jesus. The fruit of her womb is the very Son of God, and by her Son's word on the cross she has become the mother of all the living, the dispenser of God's graces throughout all ages. And since Our Lady is the exemplar of womanhood, every woman in a certain sense has a part in Mary’s maternal role. Every woman is meant to share in nurturing the Christ-life in the souls of men. The Christian woman in marriage cannot be content to give her children natural life alone; she must also be their spiritual mother, educating them as members of God's family and like St. Monica, being "in labor of them" as often as she sees them swerving from Him. In her role as spiritual mother woman uses the resources of her maternal instincts and capacities at their most exalted level.
Pots de Creme Day
” From the French have come many excellent things. Nothing related to wartime, mind you, but if you’re looking for ways to enjoy the finer things in life there are no wiser people. Take the Pots de Creme, for instance, a truly decadent preparation that is quite possibly the king of desserts.” Anonymous
Rich, creamy, delectable. Pots de Creme are one of the greatest inventions of the 17th Century, and they’ve remained a favorite treat in the centuries since. Pots de Creme Day celebrates these delicious treats and their long history. In the 17th-century Pots de Creme started becoming popular and were originally created filling crusts like a pie. As time went on they were made in smaller portions and the crust was eliminated. While it remains incredibly popular, many people have difficulty pronouncing it. It is not, as the name suggests, “Pawts deh Creem”, but in fact is pronounced “Po de Krehm”. But no matter how you pronounce it, it’ absolutely delicious and a complete breeze to make! Pots de Creme are, at their most basic, just four ingredients, but once you master the basic recipe a whole world of possibility opens up. Fruit flavors were incredibly common, especially when prepared with fresh fruit, or you could enjoy them as a rich chocolate or butterscotch. Really, there was no end to what these little custards could be. That’s right! These are lightly prepared custards, but the French didn’t have a word for custard, so they called them Pots de Creme.
How to Celebrate
Pots de Creme day is an excellent opportunity for you to discover the ease with which they can be made and the unlimited variety that comes out of one simple recipe. First, start off with a basic vanilla version.
Pots de Creme
6 cups heavy cream
1 ½c whole milk
¾t kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
18 large egg yolks
Whipped Cream (for serving)
Begin by putting a rack on the middle space of an oven and begin preheating until it reaches 300F. Blend together the milk, salt, and cream in a large pot, split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into it. Slowly bring the pot to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to prevent the bottom from burning. While that heats, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they reach a light golden color, and then pour the hot cream into the yolk blend, whisking until smooth. Then strain it through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Place the ramekins on a roasting pan and fill each of them until they’re half full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, and then cool in a water bath for 5 minutes. Then transfer it to a wire rack and let them cool down. Place in a refrigerator and allow to chill for four hours.
Top with whipped cream and serve!
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
Article 5 The Anointing of The Sick
1499 "By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. and indeed, she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ."
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