I am so inspired by the unconditional love and persevering faith of Saint Monica. Though she was rejected and abused, she surrendered herself and the needs of her family to the Lord. I cannot imagine the pain she endured in her lifetime, nor the relief she must have experienced when the prayers of her tears were answered.
In this painting, she is still a young mother, Augustine only an infant. She is unaware of the sufferings that will befall her, nor does she know how fruitful her prayers will be. She does not see her baby as a heretic or a Doctor of the Church, but as her son, and this is how she forever sees and loves him.
May we, too, see one another as we are, sons and daughters of God, and may we love one another as such.
"I closed her eyes; and there flowed a great sadness into my heart, and it was passing into tears, when my eyes at the same time, by the violent control of my mind, sucked back the fountain dry, and woe was me in such a struggle! ... And then little by little did I bring back my former thoughts of Your handmaid, her devout conversation towards You, her holy tenderness and attentiveness towards us, which was suddenly taken away from me; and it was pleasant to me to weep in Your sight, for her and for me, concerning her and concerning myself. And I set free the tears which before I repressed, that they might flow at their will, spreading them beneath my heart; and it rested in them, for Your ears were near me--not those of man, who would have put a scornful interpretation on my weeping. But now in writing I confess it unto You, O Lord! Read it who will, and interpret how he will; and if he finds me to have sinned in weeping for my mother during so small a part of an hour--that mother who was for a while dead to my eyes, who had for many years wept for me, that I might live in Your eyes--let him not laugh at me, but rather, if he be a man of a noble charity, let him weep for my sins against You, the Father of all the brethren of Your Christ." // Saint Augustine, regarding the death of his mother, Saint Monica
(original: 11x14, acrylic on canvas, August 2018)