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Document Details :

Title: Spiritual Motherhood of Monnica
Subtitle: Two Mothers in the Life of Saint Augustine
Author(s): BOUWMAN, Kitty
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 29    Date: 2019   
Pages: 49-69
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.29.0.3286937

Abstract :
In his Confessions, Augustine considers activities of Monnica’s motherhood such as nursing and giving birth as a prototype of God’s care. He describes his mother as an instrument of God’s comforting mercies that incorporated him into divine life. Next, there was another mother in his life, the mother of his son Adeodatus. It is possible that she played a role too, in the development of Augustine’s view on God’s mercy. In the reflection on his life, Augustine tells us that God transformed Monnica’s heart into a temple of the Holy Spirit, when she became aware of the twisted paths that he could go (Conf. 2.3.6). Thanks to this transformation, her heart became a place where God resided, from which she could mediate between God and Augustine during the period that he was associated with Manicheism. This mediation I see as the core aspect of her spiritual motherhood for Augustine. In this article I will explore the interrelationship between expressions of spiritual motherhood and Christian mystagogy: in what way has Monnica initiated her son into Christian life?

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