When I was a child I thought there was nothing more important than being remembered in a text book. I wanted to be that important. I wanted to be remembered and revered for doing something vastly important to society like curing cancers or inventing cold fusion. It was all go big or go home.
I’m now entering my thirties and it’s safe to say that I won’t be finding a cure for cancer or the energy crisis any time soon. It turns out that is not where my talent’s lay. The world might not remember me, and I’ve come to find that that is okay. I do not care if everyone remembers me, as long as a selected few remember me well.
Years ago there was another woman of no real great importance. She had a husband with whom she struggled and mother in law who did not make her life easy. She oversaw a household, went to church and was active in her community. She also had a son who gave her great troubles. She was much like many women before and after her and would have slipped, unrecorded into history, except for that that troubled son would go on to become one of the most well known Catholic writers in history and through his writings she changed the world.
She was the inspiration for the life he would eventually lead and the words that he would write.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up with our own desires, particularly the desire to leave a lasting impression on this world. There are days when washing dishes, doing laundry and rereading stories seems the furthest from world changes acts. Yet none of us knows what the scope of these little, ordinary acts will be.
Today let’s not worry whether or not our names will be in the papers or known throughout the country. Instead, let us focus on what is at hand – our actions, our trials and our perseverance – for no one knows how much their simple tasks might change the world.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Monica and tomorrow that of her troublemaker of a son, St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church.