Monday, February 10, 2014

Saint Scholastica, Woman of Prayer

"I made a request of you, and you would not listen; I asked my God and he heard me. Leave me now if you can, and return to your monastery. ..." - Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, Book Two

I can almost see St. Benedict: he wasn't pleased with his sister's antics. For a guy who wrote the Rule for his monks to observe, and who placed much emphasis on the ability of the Abbot to lead by example, this was not a simple situation for Benedict. What would his monks say? Monks are not allowed to spend the night outside the monastery, and he (Benedict) gave them that rule.

But, guess what? God has a wicked sense of humor. On this particular night, he (God) has Scholastica as his accomplice. Out of the clear sky, out of nowhere, a storm ensued making it impossible for Benedict to return to his monastery, hence Scholastica taunts him as quoted in the opening verse. That meeting was important, because 3 days later St. Scholastica died, and St. Benedict, standing in his cell in his monastery saw the soul of his sister going to heaven in the form of a dove. What a beautiful symbol for this holy Bride of Christ.

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Scholastica, the twin sister of St. Benedict. For us in the Benedictine family, this is a great feast. We know very little about the life of St. Scholastica. In fact the little we know is in relation with St. Benedict.

Even though we know very little about Scholastica, the little we know from this one story as told by Pope St. Gregory the Great illustrates a woman of great faith, who as St. Gregory puts it "did more because she loved more".

Today we ask for the intercession of St. Scholastica, not only for the Benedictine Men and Women religious around the world, but for all disciples of Christ. We are called to love, and as we respond to Christ's love for us, we are empowered to be agents of God's will.

Happy Feast of St. Scholastica!

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