8 Little Arrows in my Quiver

Reflections and Ramblings of a Happily Harried Mom of Many

A Mother’s Tears August 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — 8littlearrows @ 6:33 pm

St Augustine is said to be the “son of his mother’s tears.”  Today is the feast day of that amazing woman – St. Monica.  Years ago, I adopted her as my patron saint, since I had a hard time finding a St. Colleen (maybe some day!).  I chose St. Monica after reading Louis de Wohl’s book about St. Augustine.  (If you have never read his novels about the saints, do yourself a favor and find some of them – they are great!). 

 I remember being so inspired by St. Monica’s faith and perseverance in praying (through her tears) for the conversion of her husband and her son, even when it seemed as if there was no reason to hope.  She was fervent in her own practice of the faith, and untiring in prayer.  What an example of the kind of mother I want to be!

Last night, I received an email from a friend whose teenaged son has been making some bad choices.  I wished I had some words of wisdom for her, but my own kids haven’t reached that point yet, as they are younger.  I know, though, that God has given my children the same free will He gave me, and that despite my best attempt at parenting, they will make some wrong choices in life, just as I have.  So what’s a mother to do?  I think St. Monica has shown us exactly what to do: cry!  And of course, pray without ceasing.

But let’s talk about those tears for a minute.  I will be honest — I love a good cry!  Some people believe that crying doesn’t make anything better, but I beg to differ.  For me, it is the best way to get out all the pent-up emotion I’ve been carrying about something, and once that’s all out, I then have room in my brain to process the situation in a better way.  And here’s the best part.  That pain, that comes out through the tears, can be offered back to God as a prayer for whatever situation is causing them to begin with.  Once I have released all the tears I can, it somehow feels like I can then release the whole situation to Him a little bit more freely.  When I am in a place of complete brokenness, it is then that I truly turn to God, realizing that He is the only one who really has any control over the situation anyway.

And the tears of the saints are not in vain.  The reading from evening prayer for today says it so well:

“Thus says the Lord:  Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from     your eyes.  The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the Lord, they shall return from the enemy’s land.  There is hope for your future, says the Lord; your sons shall return to their own borders” (Jer. 31:16-17).

So go ahead and cry!  And then pray without ceasing!  There’s power in a mother’s tears.

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4 Responses to “A Mother’s Tears”

  1. candy R Says:

    are you going to do any more blogs? We could sure use them.Thanks, Candy

  2. Julianna Golas Says:

    Hi Colleen, My husband and I are both ’92 Bona Grads and parents of 4 young children. I just recently read the Parenting on Purpose book in one sitting and I am already utilizing some of its wisdom. I have a masters degree in child development and despite all my knowledge of theory and research, the best parenting advice I have found comes from loving, Christian parents who follow in Christ’s footsteps.

    In response to your blog on St. Monica, I just recently had a very trying family crisis that left me lost and broken. I found myself in a church one morning, kneeling in front of a cross and in tears. Through heavy sobs I was able to utter a brief prayer asking for the Lord’s mercy. With red puffy eyes I returned to my car and then got a phone call that provided me with happy news that some of the storm my family was weathering was beginning to clear. I truly felt God’s hand at that moment. I think when you come to Christ in tears and simply ask for mercy it is very different then when you pray for a specific outcome. We have all uttered prayers asking God to provide us with something specific (more money, success). When we pray for these specifics we are practicing arrogance. We are suggesting that we know a better outcome, then what God has planned for us. When you come to Christ in tears, you are practicing humility and asking for Him to show you the way.

  3. James Ignatius McAuley, Esq. Says:

    Collen,

    You probably do not remember, but Jason might — I was a pal of Scott Brogan and gradated from Bonas with Scott in 1991. I remember Jason as “the angry young man” who denied transubstantiation, and I recall telling Jason he was a heretic. Then Jason met you and became happy. In any event, I am a lawyer now and married to Sue Szot, class of 1995 with 3 kids. Sue remembers the infamous scabies incident with the Warming House. I see you are both up near the Marian shrine in Stockbridge, which is very pretty. I only say the Divine Mercy prayer when driving, as I use the Roman Breviary in English from 1964. I have come to know the Extraordinary Form of mass, and I prefer it. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer pre-Vatican II liberals, like Pius Parsch, and not the world of the Mountain. Anyways, God bless the both of you and your 8 Children. I am very impressed that you have had so many kids — may God bless you!

  4. Idelle Soto Says:

    Thank you.


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