Thursday, August 29, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Saint Augustine by Sandro Botticelli, 1445
Here is what the Golden Legend has to say about Saint Augustine
Here is a short biography of this great doctor of the Church.
Saint Augustine's Threnus Prayer
It is sometimes called A Prayer For Those In Tribulation
This is one of the very best penitential prayers I have ever come across and it reflects a deep understanding of fallen human nature.
(based on the translation by Michael W. Martin of Thesaurus Preces Latinarum)
We would be wise to place before Thine eyes, O Lord,
Our misdeeds and the wounds we receive.
For if we do, the less we suffer
And the greater we merit.
We feel the punishment for sin,
Yet we do not shun our obstinacy in sinning.
Our fragile nature is shattered by Thy scourges,
Yet our evil ways remain unchanged.
The sick mind is wrenched,
Yet the stiff neck is not bent.
Life sighs in pain,
And yet, it does not amend itself.
If Thou waiteth, we do not reform,
If Thou punisheth, we do not last.
When accused, we admit what we have done,
Yet when punished, we forget.
If Thou punisheth, we make promises;
If Thou holdeth back the sword, we do not carry out our promises.
If Thou striketh us, we cry out that Thou might spare us;
If Thou sparest us, we again provoke Thee to strike us.
If difficulties come, we ask for a time for repentance.
If mercy comes to our aid, we abuse Thy patience which has spared us.
Even when our wounds are scarcely healed,
Our ungrateful mind forgets.
If Thou hearest us quickly, we become haughty from mercy.
If Thou art slow, we complain out of impatience.
We are willing to serve Thee because of what Thou hast done,
Yet we do not fear to neglect what Thou willst have us do.
Thou hast in Thy power, O Lord, we confessed sinners;
Be merciful, for Thou art kind and loving.
We have known that, unless Thou forgiveth us,
Thou shalt justly punish us.
But with Thee is much pity
And abundant forgiveness.
Grant, without any merit on our part, what we ask,
O Thou, who hast made from nothing those who ask Thee.
Have mercy on us crying out to Thee, O Lord.
May the voice of the faithful and of the tearful stir up Thy mercy.
May that forgiveness not consider that we sin,
While it reflects on the fact we ask.
Since it is a great misery that we are accused,
May the fact that we are miserable make Thy mercy be the greater.
We beg Thy help,
And before Thee we place the evils and sorrows of our crimes.
By our prayers we look for Thy mercy,
The very mercy which we have spurned by our sins.
Raise us up in Thy mercy, O Lord our God,
So that in the fellowship of salvation and the joy of charity,
While we long to be saved,
We may rejoice in the faith and peace of all the nations.
Through Christ our Lord Who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Today is the feast in the Novus Ordo, of the persistent mother of Saint Augustine, Saint Monica. This holy woman prayed incessantly for 17 years for Augustine's conversion. A year before she died, her prayer was granted, and the Church obtained one of its greatest doctors. But her constant prayers also obtained the conversion, on his deathbed, of her abusive husband. She is a patron saint of alcoholics, of people in difficult marriages, and of abuse victims.
Her son's feast day falls tomorrow, and the 1970 Ordo moved her feast to today to juxtapose it with that of her son.
Here is a short biography of Saint Monica from Catholic On Line:
St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith in 370. He died a year later. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life. St. Augustine was much more difficult, as she had to pray for him for 17 years, begging the prayers of priests who, for a while, tried to avoid her because of her persistence at this seemingly hopeless endeavor. One priest did console her by saying, "it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish." This thought, coupled with a vision that she had received strengthened her. St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose in 387. St. Monica died later that same year, on the way back to Africa from Rome in the Italian town of Ostia.
Saint Monica, please pray for us!