August 27, 2013



1st Thessalonians 2:1-8

Today, the Church celebrates the life of Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine whose tireless intercession fostered her son's historic conversion. There are many saintly things to celebrate in the life of this holy woman: her commitment to prayer, her unconditional love of her son, her trusting the Church at key seasons of her fear. However, perhaps what's most inspiring is her waiting all those years. She waited ... as Augustine chased the empty promises of the "world". She waited ... as her son philandered his purity away. She waited ... as the future saint drank in the seductions of heresy. She waited ... as only a mother can.

Many of us know what it's like to wait. For most of us the weight in the wait stems from our misunderstanding why we are waiting. Many of us yearn for God to hear our prayer ... and, when we don't see God responding, we erroneously assume that God hasn't heard us or God won't act. In reality, God has heard us; however, God's timing isn't our timing. As He says in Isaiah: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—says of the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

When God hears our prayers He listens to us with the "big picture" in mind. Thus, He always responds to our prayers in the present moment with the "big picture" in mind. You can't see your future, but God can. You can't see what God is doing in other people's lives, but God can. You can't see the big picture, but God can. Therefore, God often acts on a different timetable than we'd like.

Perhaps today you too are still waiting. Perhaps you're waiting for a breakthrough ... or a miracle ... of the conversion of someone you love. Saint Monica knew Isaiah 55:8-9, but she also knew verses 10-11: "Yet just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down And do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving the end for which I sent it." When God says He's going to do something it will happen ... guaranteed ... in His timing.

In the end, God's timing worked. Augustine became one of the greatest of all the saints. Monica's waiting paid off. Likewise, trust that God will come through for you.

And ... perhaps as you wait ... instead of assuming that God isn't doing anything ... ask Him to show what He is doing. Ask Him to say more to you about His timing.

© Fr. Mark Toups, 2013


This past weekend we concluded our three-week series on "storms". Part of every "storm" involves our pleading for God to intervene in our lives. And, we, like Monica, may have to wait. If you're going through a "storm" or a "trial" be reminded of God's timing. And, be reminded of why God may not act as quickly as we'd like. The homily from Sunday, August 11, 2013 addressed this question head on. Click here to listen to the homily from Sunday, August 11, 2013Click here to listen to the most recent homily from Sunday, August 25, 2013.


"Consider seriously how quickly people change, and how little trust is to be had in them; and hold fast to God, who does not change."
― Teresa of Ávila