The Transmission of Faith through Relationship – A Lenten Sacrifice
Do you know Lois and Eunice?
I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you. (2 Tim 1:4-5)
The verses quoted above are from the Mass readings on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022. They were taken from Saint Paul’s letter to Timothy in which Paul greets Timothy and offers thanksgiving and exhortations. Paul’s letters to Timothy are beautiful words full of apostolic love and wisdom which can be formed into homiletical masterpieces. There is, however, this one sentence which may get overlooked if one were not a mother.
As a Christian mother there is nothing more important than seeing love for Christ manifesting in the lives of her children. A mother’s greatest joy is sitting in Mass praying with her family, and her greatest sorrow is knowing that one has gone astray. Countless prayers have been said for children in hopes that they never have to suffer a life without Christ. One mother in particular that has been noted for her dedication to prayer for her wayward son is Saint Monica.
As we look at Lois, Eunice, and Monica – all mothers or grandmothers of Bishops – we must not only remember that these were women of prayer but that they were women of relationship. Saint Paul knew Timothy’s mother and grandmother by name and was familiar with their “sincere faith.” Monica, mother to Saint Augustine, was under the spiritual direction of Bishop Saint Ambrose of Milan and was a leader to a women’s group. 
As we enter into this Lenten season, let us (both men and women) understand the importance of relationship as we raise children in the faith. Instead of giving up chocolate or coffee, let us give up isolation and introversion. Let us grow our faith by building relationships with our Church leadership and our fellow parishioners. Let us allow our faith to grow so that, if we have failed in being an example of faith to our children, we can allow the change in us to be the witness of the power of Christ to fallen-away family.
Let us all live so that when God calls us home, we have children who write about us as Augustine wrote about his mother: “. . . the gift of acting as peace-maker whenever she could if friction occurred between souls at variance.” “Moreover she was the servant of your servants. Every one of them who knew her found ample reason to praise, honor, and love you as he sensed your presence in her heart, attested by the fruits of her holy way of life.”
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Copyright Kelly Ann Tallent 2022
 Katie F. Ruszala, “St. Monica: The Fruitful Tears of a Mother,” at Ascension Press (26 August 2020), at www.media.ascensionpress.com.
 Augustine, Confession, IX, 21, trans. Maria Boulding (New York: New City Press, 1997), 172.
 Augustine, Confessions, IX, 22, trans. Boulding, 172.