Today was a pretty special day for the monastery. That’s because today was the Feast day of St. Scholastica, the sister of St. Benedict. We read the fairly well known story narrated by Pope Saint Gregory the Great between her and her brother last night during the Office of Readings. St. Scholastica, who was already at the time, a nun, loved visiting her brother once each year. One day, after a day spent together praising God and talking of sacred things, St. Benedict had to leave her to go back to his monastery, which was very close. However, St. Scholastica pleaded with her brother to stay with her, just that once, until morning. St. Benedict refused because, being a monk, his place was with his community and he couldn’t leave his cloister for that long. So St. Scholastica joined her hands on the table, laid her head on them and began to pray. St. Gregory tells us that as she raised her head from the table, there were such brilliant flashes of lightning, such great peals of thunder and such a heavy downpour of rain that Saint Benedict could not get across the short distance between the guesthouse where they were at and the monastery. Of course, he began to complain saying “May God forgive you, sister. What have you done?” She replied “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and He did listen.” St. Benedict stayed the night then and they both spent the whole night talking about the spiritual life. Three days later, as St. Benedict was in his cell, he saw in the sky his sister’s soul leave her body in the form of a dove and fly up to heaven.
Hehehehheeh so I really enjoyed that story… I’ve definitely got to try that one time… c”,) So today, being St. Scholastica’s feast, Fr. Abbot celebrated the mass and we had a special 1st reading from the Songs of Solomon. It’s short enough that I can type it out here. It’s taken from the Song of Songs 8:6-7
Set me like a seal on your heart
like a seal on your arm.
For love is strong as Death,
jealousy relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire,
a flame of the Lord Himself.
Love no flood can quench
no torrents drown.
Father Abbot spoke about this in his homily. He spoke about the love St. Scholastica and Mary (the Gospel was on the story of Mary and Martha with Jesus) had for Christ… the fiery love the bride has for her bridegroom. He spoke of how the bridegroom (Christ) reciprocates that love of the bride infinitely by His gift of Himself in the Eucharist.
What made today even more special was that Frater Leo, one of the younger monks, received the institution of acolyte. The acolyte is the step, I believe, right before the diaconate where the person is given the ministry to give holy communion to the Church during the mass and to the sick. That means that Frater Leo will be ordained soon to the diaconate and soon after that, to the priesthood.
Anyway, that’s most of what’s been happening here this week. For my part, I’ve been crazy busy with a couple of papers due this week, one of which I’m considering posting up here next time. It’ll be a long post but it’s a paper that I think is worth letting out there. I’m basically studying how the psychology and selfist theories of today have manifested themselves in education and morality. More on that later on… Anyways, for now, God bless!!!