There is something about a beautiful, talented woman giving up a career to raise a child, devoting her brain power to encouraging and providing the needs of a being still far from appreciating what she is doing. And there is no guarantee that it’ll turn out successfully. St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, watched horror stricken as he wasted all her input with loose women and bacchanalian weekends.
But that clever woman had one last resort — prayer. And she used it with a determination that must have been not iron, but steel. Augustine dropped his ways, wrote his confessions, and entered the priesthood. He became Bishop of the North African city of Hippo, and affected our Western Civilization almost as much as Jesus Christ himself. Talk about a happy ending!
St. Augustine is still quoted today. His sayings cut to the core of human existence, and having skirted the loss of his talent and soul, he was lucky to have lived long enough to change. Whenever I doubt the effectiveness of prayer, I turn my mind to this story.