By Allison Gingras

Faith Not Shared - WINE

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. ~ Mark 6:1-6

 

As I read Mark’s Gospel, these words spoken by Jesus struck a chord deep in my motherly heart, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” I, like many Catholic mothers, have watched her adult children drift (even run) away from the faith of their childhood. When they were young, it seemed more straightforward, and we were doing all the “right” things to assure their ongoing faith of their own accord. We attended Mass as a family, participated in youth group, read the Bible and spiritual reading, and were involved in Vacation Bible School for over ten years; we even discussed faith during dinner.

Alas, I slowly watched the world’s voice grow far louder than mine. The methods employed to share my beloved faith no longer apply. My words no longer held merit, and discussions at the dinner table took a new turn I never expected. My heart ached, and tears flowed as I wondered and worried what more I could have done. My prayers for the right words doubled, but none came (at least, alas, not yet).

St. Monica, the mother of a wayward son turned Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine, became the newest member of my Saint Posse. She, too, cried many tears and was consoled by a bishop who told her, “The child of those tears shall never perish.” That child of whom the bishop spoke was the same who once prayed, “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet,” and whose dramatic conversion came about through an unexpected verse in scripture and the counsel of a holy man, St. Ambrose — not his mother’s pleas.

Although St. Monica was relentless in her desire to see Augustine turn to God, going so far as to secretly follow him to Milan, it would not be her words that ultimately brought about his remarkable change of heart and turning toward God. Monica’s example brings me great hope and clued me into something I’d not yet considered. Although I have no doubt Monica’s prayers fueled her son’s incredible conversion, the words of another ultimately made the difference. My prayer and tactic, if you will, have been altered after studying these remarkable saints. I now beg the Lord to send my sons their own St. Ambroses and ask, if it be His will, that I may be St. Ambrose to someone else’s “fallen away” child.

Saint Paul said, “Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” My “this” was the heartbreak of wanting my children to have a meaningful relationship with the Lord, and I definitely asked WAY MORE than three times! I, like Paul, need not allow my circumstances to overwhelm or overcome me. I can find peace and hope with the ever-sufficient grace of God. Content in my weaknesses, constraints, and hardships, for I know Jesus wants them in Heaven forever with His Father, even more than I do!

 

Prayer

Jesus, I long for everyone, especially my family members, to discover a meaningful relationship with you. How difficult it can be to know and rely on Your love and mercy but to be unable to share this with those I care for the most. I trust that Your amazing grace is enough, that You know my desires, and in Your perfect time, they will be answered. Amen!

Call to Action

Make a holy hour this week for the conversion of fallen-away Catholics, not only in your family but also in families across the globe. Pray hearts are open to hear and respond to the Holy Spirit’s call.

 

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