Monday, February 10, 2014

Feast of St. Scholastica

 Happy Feast of St. Scholastica!

Ok, so this is one of those I am supposed to know, but I do not.  If you haven't guessed by now, most of them are, but this is the one that makes me feel very out of the loop at bible study.  Something will come up, several will say "We need to ask St. Scholastica for help" and I think "What????"  Honesty, I still don't get it.  I hope someone will help me with this one.  She's the sister, possibly twin, of St. Benedict.  She gave herself to God at a young age.  She predicted Benedict's greatness and met annually to discuss matters of great spiritual importance.  Maybe I can see her as an extraordinarily wonderful sister, and "sister," who was the first Benedictine nun.  But what do I tell my kids about her.  How do I explain her greatness when I do not fully understand it myself.  I found the children's book:  The Holy Twins Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris and Tomie de Paola and I think I will pick it up to help me with this.  I did find a story about them, St. Scholastica asked St. Benedict to stay longer and discuss more with her, but he wanted to go back to his monastery.  She asked God for help and a large storm appeared and forced Benedict to stay longer with his sister.  A few days after their meeting had ended and Benedict had returned home, he dreamt of his sister's soul going into heaven as a dove.

I also found that today we celebrate the shipwreck of St. Paul which is laid out in the Acts of the Apostles.  A ship was taking Paul to Rome as prisoner, but was wrecked on the coast of Malta.  There he was welcomed and spent several years preaching and performing miracles.  This was the birth of the Maltese Church.  When I lay these two out together, what I find is the glorious ways God puts us where we need to be.  From forcing St. Benedict to spend that extra time with his sister before she left this world to putting St. Paul where he needed to be to spread the church and its teachings, God has a funny way of helping us follow his plan.  Honestly, I often struggle with this.  I am wondering why I am behind the irritatingly slow car as I'm driving my kids to school. When suddenly, somewhere in the back seat I hear a tiny voice say "Mommy, we forgot our morning prayers.  Do we still have time?"  In our hustle and bustle of society and life, God has to put the slow car in front of us so we will slow down and see his direction.  Without it, we are speeding through life and breakneck speeds trying to make it to our next goal, which often is soccer practice or finishing homework, but is rarely preaching the good news or comforting the sorrowful and lonely.  Today I challenge myself, and anyone else out there, to slow down.  Look around you and find what God is trying to show you--maybe your child's teacher is dealing with family problems and needs a pick-me-up, maybe the school secretary just found out her best friend is sick or maybe your elderly neighbor just hasn't had any visitors for a while.  Look around, there are plenty of areas where we can help others, God is trying to point you their way.  Are you looking, are you letting Him steer your ship, or does he have to create a massive storm or wreck your boat to make you stop and notice?

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