These words were spoken by Winston Churchill during the darkest days of World War II. Churchill, for many reasons, is one of my favorite historical personalities. Though certainly flawed, as are we all, I have always admired his great tenacity.
And today, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Monica (d. 387AD), whose tenacious and unyielding prayer gave us the great Saint we celebrate tomorrow, St. Augustine. I have written of St. Monica before. She is the model for contemporary parents who have children that have strayed from the fold; children who have surrendered to the "sex, drugs and rock and roll" culture that has subsumed our American life.
Augustine was the playboy/hippie of his day. Sin was no stranger to this fourth century bon vivant. For 17 years, Monica wept, fasted and prayed for his conversion. She sought the counsel of others to help her convince Augustine to follow Christ. After beseeching Bishop Ambrose of Milan for days and days, he said to her, " My dear, go home. Surely the child of so many tears will never be lost."
You see, she never, never, never gave up on Augustine or God, for that matter. And we need to do the same. I have 8 children that are on, shall we say, various paths. Some paths good...others, not so good. But I take great comfort from St. Monica. It is my role to pray them to the "Gates of the Kingdom," so to speak. Certainly, as a fruit of my prayer, God will give the grace that brings each of them to that heavenly door...but,it will ever be the personal responsibility of each to willingly walk through the threshold. And so,my children.....I am never, never, never giving up!!!