St. Augustine of Hippo By Ann Walker
St. Augustine of Hippo is known for some catchy quotes.
“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
What does this quote say to us?
The quote first got me thinking about the type and number of prayers that I pray daily. During the day, I may find myself stopping for a quick and silent/personal prayer as the moment dictates. I'm also blessed to have scheduled times of prayer: In addition to evangelization, Gospa Missions is a prayer ministry. We pray four times during the day and offer prayers on behalf of those who have special intention requests. We start the workday with a morning prayer to guide our efforts. We pray the Angelus at noon and pray the Divine Mercy Novena at 3 p.m. As we conclude our workday, we pray the Angelus again at 6 p.m.
Did St. Augustine always have a prayerful life? No. For the earlier part of his life, St. Augustine lived in unseemly ways. His mother, St. Monica, prayed for a long time with the hopes that her son would come to the faith and live a godlier life. At times, St. Monica must have felt that her prayers were not being answered, but God surely was working behind the scenes. St. Augustine finally realized he needed God. He converted to Christianity, and not long after his conversion, he became a priest...and then a Bishop! Along with his scholarly upbringing, his love for God and the truth would propel him to write over 100 books and treatises plus numerous letters and sermons based on religion and reason. He shared his understanding of God and how man is made in the image of God. He was able to craft his rhetoric in meaningful ways to share his knowledge and get his points across.
As Catholics, we believe that God hears our prayers--even when it seems like it may take longer than we would like for those prayers to be answered. We might find that the outcome is something other than what we would prefer, but we believe that God has a plan for us and that there is a purpose behind what is happening.
We can gain much by listening to St. Augustine’s suggestion of working as though everything depends on us by keeping a positive attitude, working hard, and trying our best to improve our situations. Even if we falter, God knows our intentions. With God’s help, we can regain our step and move forward with the faith that He will help us through any situation that we face. God can see what we are doing. St. Augustine turned his life around and proved that God will meet us where we are. We just need to be ready to follow God’s ways.
I feel that God wants us to do our best and work as though everything depends on us…just as long as we know that it is our dependence on God that can ultimately bring us the Heavenly results we need.
- By Ann Walker