We are rightly concerned with the welfare of our nearest and dearest: their health, prosperity, relationships, happiness, etc. We should have the greatest concern however for their spiritual well-being – their communion with Jesus, their belonging to him. This was especially true of St Monica who prayed incessantly for the conversion of her son St Augustine who earlier on lived a very worldly life. Speaking of this intercession, he wrote: You listened to her, O Lord; and did not despise those tears of hers which moistened the earth wherever she prayed.
Shortly before her death, the two had a conversation about the things that mattered most in life. This is an excerpt from St Augustine’s CONFESSIONS autobiography:
Yet you know, O Lord, how on that very day, amid this talk of ours that seemed to make the world with all its charms grow cheap, she said, “For my part, my son, I no longer find pleasure in anything that this life holds. What I am doing here still, or why I am still here, I do not know, for worldly hope has withered away for me. One thing only there was for which I desired to linger in this life: to see you a Catholic Christian before I died. And my God has granted this to me more lavishly than I could have hoped, letting me see even you spurning earthly happiness to be his servant. What am I still doing here?”