25 years ago, on the feast of St. Monica, at the age of 5, I was baptized with my two younger sisters. And this strong saint, “lively in hope” yet “assiduous in tears” became an instant patroness for the women in my family.
I love St. Monica (whose upcoming feast day is August 27!) for so many reasons. For one, I think she taught me and the women in my family the power of prayer. I watched my mom spend 25 years praying for my dad’s conversion, and I saw the answer to her prayers when he had a near-death experience and truly surrendered to Jesus at the very end of his life.
I’ve watched others in my family fall to their knees, escape the chains of addiction, find joy in the most unlikely of places… so many miracles through the power of prayer! And I know I’m not alone in seeing so many answers to my prayers. I also know I’m not alone when I don’t see the answers to my prayers.
We all have “Augustines” in our lives. Those people, places, things, circumstances, hopes and dreams that we chase and chase with our prayers. And sometimes, like St. Monica, we are waiting and waiting and waiting for God to hear and answer us.
OK, I need to be super real and honest for a minute…
Maria, Christine and I came together during a time of waiting in our lives, a time of unanswered prayer. Being in our late 20s and early 30s, we thought we would have been married by now with several children each. We thought our lives would have looked a lot different than they do. We had each been praying for that “Augustine” for so long: the deep desire of our hearts to be in a permanent vocation. Only still to be waiting.
A little over a year ago, one evening, we were all sharing about these struggles very openly and honestly (probably over some chocolate and toe nail polish… not eating the toe nail polish of course). As we talked, we decided:
This time of waiting is difficult, but it is also precious. This waiting is not just a passive waiting. It is an active waiting! It is a time that we will never get back, and a time in which we can do so much for Jesus! A time when we can’t just sit… We have to run!
Maria got up and wrote down something on a whiteboard for all of us to see. It was a beautiful saying she heard a priest say long ago:
“I will be about my Father’s business. I will be busy in the castle!”
From that moment, this phrase became our new motto and question. How can I be busy in the castle? How can I run while I wait? It was out of this desire to be busy in the castle, this desire to run while we wait, that His Own was born.
Life is full of expectancy, and it is likely that you (whoever you are) are waiting for something. You may feel abandoned, like God has not heard your prayer because time is going by, like nothing seems to be happening.
St. Monica must have felt this for years. But finally at the end of her life, she saw the fulfillment of her dreams: she watched her son become a saint.
St. Monica literally chased Augustine around the globe, and how many souls did she bring to Christ while she ran?
Can you run while you wait?
Be His! -Kara Klein