I awoke this morning to a sea of fog. Not the normal fog that is my thought process before the first cup of coffee mind you, but an actual blanket of mist that had settled upon our neighborhood and city last night. I quickly brewed a cup of coffee and headed out to our back patio with the Liturgy of the Hours tucked under my arm.
Today the Church celebrates St. Monica (b. 333 – d. 387), the mother of St. Augustine. She was a remarkable woman and a model for all of us, most especially for mothers. Before I settled in to my chair to pray I snapped a quick photo of the tree line. Had I been out just 20-30 minutes sooner the photo would have been very gray, with just the shadows of the trees evident. But you get the idea.
Selections from this morning’s readings:
Dawn finds me ready to welcome you, My God.
Now as our anthems, upward borne,
Awake the silence of the morn,
Enrich us with thy gifts of grace,
From heaven, thy blissful dwelling place!
Truly calm and quiet I have made my spirit:
quiet as a weaned child in its mother’s arms –
like an infant is my soul.
The second reading from the Office of Readings this morning is a selection from St. Augustine’s Confessions, in which he is describing the final days of Monica’s life. From my seat in my backyard I felt connected to them as I read his description of he and his ill mom leaning against a window and looking into the yard.
Because the day when she was to leave this life was drawing near – a day known to you, though we were ignorant of it – she and I happened to be alone, through (as I believe) the mysterious workings of your will. We stood leaning against a window which looked out on a garden within the house where we were staying, at Ostia on the Tiber; for there, far from the crowds, we were recruiting our strength after the long journey, in order to prepare ourselves for our voyage overseas. We were alone, conferring very intimately. Forgetting what lay in the past, and stretching out to what was ahead, we enquired between ourselves, in the light of present truth, into what you are and what the eternal life of the saints would be like, for Eye has not seen nor ear heard nor human heart conceived it.