God hears our prayers for our loved ones


Today is Sunday, the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.  And today began in an ordinary way for me, in prayer.  Being open to direction from God, I began by praying Come, Holy Spirit and Saint Augustine's Prayer to the Holy Spirit.  And then I realized that it's the Feast Day of Saint Augustine of Hippo. Of course!  Yesterday was the feast day of his mother, Saint Monica, whose prayers for her son's conversion were eventually answered in a most powerful way.  It got me to thinking that it's never too late to pray for somebody else to change; and also, it's never too late for YOU to change.  

No matter where you are now, or what mistakes you've made, it's never too late to change.  Saint Monica prayed for years for her son's conversion. Her prayers were eventually answered, and her son, Saint Augustine of Hippo, is now one of the great doctors of the church.  His life is a superb example for us that our prayers for our loved ones will be answered and also that every person can have a change of heart and turn to God. Saint Augustine sought and attained the heavenly prize. And he continues to inspire us today.

So let us share the gift of God's grace by assisting and praying for others and for the salvation of all souls.  It's not up to us to determine who is or is not worthy, for none of us is worthy of God's mercy.  But let us pray that
we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.  

Always encourage others who seem lost or resistant to conversion - the person CAN change if you give them a reason to believe.  We can't avoid or stop the challenges they face, and we're not supposed to.  So for those praying for their loved ones who are either lost or suffering in any way, know that they are in Good Hands. I once read this beautiful passage by Oswald Chambers called "What is that to you?"  We have to trust that God will allow those we love to suffer or make mistakes, for it is these experiences that help us to grow into the person God wants us to be. It's usually our sufferings that help us to develop empathy and thus, serve the Lord as He intends. We won't stop praying for those we love, but may we pray that God uses their challenges to help them grow and to use these challenges to ultimately serve Him.  

Eventually, Saint Monica's prayers paid off.  And Saint Augustine veered off the wayward path and onto the road to salvation.


Let those who think I have said too little and those who think I have said too much, forgive me and let those who think I have said just enough thank God with me.  

If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.  

I sighed and you heard me. I wavered and you steadied me. I travelled along the broad way of the world, but you did not desert me.  

What wonderful profundity there is in your utterances! The surface meaning lies open before us and charms beginners. Yet the depth is amazing, my God, the depth is amazing.