Remember St. Augustine, the wild profligate young man, and Monica, his saintly mother? They lived in North Africa when Augustine told his mother he was going to Rome where he could study rhetoric and public speaking. She immediately went to their church chapel, fell on her knees, and begged God, “Please don’t let Augustine go to Rome!” She was sure the evils of that great city would destroy him. At that moment he was boarding a ship and in a few days was listening to friends in Rome telling him, “Go up to Milan and hear Ambrose, the great preacher. He is the epitome of perfection in public speaking.” Augustine went, returned again and again, was converted to Christianity, and later became the greatest Bishop of the early Church. All the time Monica was praying to God, “Don’t let Augustine go to Rome.” Scholars today doubt if anyone else in the world could have reached that brilliant young mind but Ambrose. From…

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