St. Augustine - 'Jesus, Ma! That Hurt! You hit me in the Throat!
St. Monica - 'Watch your language, Austin! Now, say you're sorry.'
St. Augustine - 'Sorry.'
St. Monica - 'You want a fresh one, boy? Like you mean it! Now!'
Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Monica!
St. Monica was a girl from Roman Tagaste, North Africa. She was a Christian, but her parents married her off to a Pagan by the name of Patricius ( Paddy Boy) and from all accounts was a gold plated jerk in many ways - he teased his wife about her charity works and her piety. Paddy Boy had a lousy temper to go with his dissolute life style - " I'll be home in an hour -What? Two Beers for Crissakes -What . . .I can't hear you. It's about work. Kiss the kids."
Monica bore this mope three children and one of them was Honors student and Dad wannabe Augustine (Austey).
The old man took a dirt nap for keeps when Austey was 17 and Monica did all she knew how to drag the kids up right and in the Faith. The Old Man had not been a great help and now Austey was off to school in Milan and found himself - he became a Manichean -kind of like the Scientologists of 6th Century Rome in Decline.
Austey was like many of our contemporary soul-patched Arabica youths who believe -nay know - that they are absolutely correct on all matters -not unlike President 'It's Distraction' Obama:
I still thought that it is not we who sin but some other nature that sins within us. It flattered my pride to think that I incurred no guilt and, when I did wrong, not to confess it... I preferred to excuse myself and blame this unknown thing which was in me but was not part of me. The truth, of course, was that it was all my own self, and my own impiety had divided me against myself. My sin was all the more incurable because I did not think myself a sinner. (Confessions, Book V, Section 10)
Monica was no harpy, but prayed for the wee lad to snap out of it.
He did. Along with his teacher of rhetoric and mentor Ambrose, Monica brought the smart-ass around to where he began - in faith. His sins are his own and life is obligated to others. When Austey woke up, he went to work with a will.
St. Monica endured a crumb of a husband and know-it-all- jerk of a son. She did so out of love for both men and in communion with her Faith in God. We have several Monicas in the ever expansive Hickey Family and they all tend to be gems.
We have more than a few Pats/Paddys/Patricks/Padgrigs and some of us (including yours truly) seem not unlike the guy St. Monica got saddled with - no Augustines - yet.
Perhaps, St. Monica might interceded and send us an Austin/Augustine/Gus; but if not, more Monicas will do very nicely.