When Loved Ones Reject the Church--Pray Like St. Monica!


I have a couple of friends who have had children who drowned. Coincidently, both of these families lost their children when they were aged three.

I never could live through something like that.

Many years later, I can see that these families still suffer. We’ve all seen these tragedies and sufferings in others, maybe some of us have experienced them ourselves. They say that in situations like these, families either draw closer to God, or they recoil away. In my experience, I’ve seen it be the former. Perhaps a great faith foundation needs to be in place so that when something like this comes along, faith might get shaken but not destroyed.

My son was three when one of these drownings took place. He was the same age as one of the boys who drowned. That same son is now married and a father. I am not sure of the exact time, but I remember him beginning to slip from the faith some time in high school. We signed him up for every retreat and mission trip. Still I knew he was struggling with the faith. My husband and I have many theories of what had turned him away from the faith—and it wasn’t drugs and rock-n-roll. It was Catholics themselves. So we sent him to a Cardinal Newman-list college. We thought that this great Catholic College would bring him back to God, but it didn’t. He just felt that he saw more hypocrisy and got himself kicked out in the middle of the 2nd year. Fast forward to now—married with 2 children and still not interested in anything having to do with the Catholic faith.

Do I wish he would have drowned at age three? Heavens no. But reality tells me that a three year old in heaven for eternity is certainly better than where my son is headed now for his eternity. This is pretty serious business.

So I suffer. And like anyone who suffers, I can draw closer to God or away. I choose to cling like crazy to God. I know how much God loves me, and he will not let me down. His will be done—and it will be beautiful. So I try to pray like St. Monica. Hopefully it won’t take me as many years as hers did to get her prayer answered. I feel that my young son is very bright like St. Augustine. He will figure this out. His hole in his heart will keep on aching, waiting to be filled. Like I mentioned, he does have 2 young children. I think children can really rip your heart open—May God be found to fill that large gaping hole!


Saint Augustine and Saint Monica” by Ary Scheffer – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Every opportunity of suffering that I have is offered for this son. He is mentioned in every prayer that I make. Like St. Monica, I do have faith that God will answer this prayer!

The feasts of St. Monica and St. Augustine are coming up at the end of the month. We all have folks that we need help in praying for to get them back to the church. Here is a simple but powerful 3-day Novena (yes only 3 days!  I can handle that!) asking for St. Monica’s and St. Augustine’s intercession.


Copyright 2015 Tami Kiser.
Art: “Saint Augustine and Saint Monica” by Ary Scheffer – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


About Author

Tami is the author Smart Martha's Catholic Guide for Busy Moms and the founder of www.smartmartha.com. She lives in Greenville, SC with her husband of 29 years.  She has 10 children:  8 boys and 2 girls ranging in age from 27 to 4. She also has 5 grandchildren.   Tami runs the Smart Martha ministry, CatholicFamilyCelebrations.com, the CatholicMosaic.com, and teaches dance classes.  Thinking like a Smart Martha has helped her to constantly seek to “sit at Christ’s feet” even in the midst of piles of laundry and sinks of dirty dishes. Visit Tami at www.smartmartha.com.


  1. I understand your sentiments, and by all means prayer is important and powerful! Yes, the Catholic Faith is the true Faith; but personally, I do not judge the state of soul of my adult children who have left the faith, because only God can know how they got where they are, and only He can judge what is in anyone’s heart. God bless you.

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.