Feb 10 – Memorial for St. Scholastica, virgin
St. Scholastica (480-543) was the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia. Born to Italian nobility, her mother died in childbirth. She became a nun and led a community of women at Plombariloa near Montecassino.
- Patron Saint Index
From her earliest years, she had been consecrated to God. She was accustomed to visiting her brother once a year, and he would come down to meet her at a place on the monastery property, not far outside the gate. One day, she came as usual and her saintly brother went with some of his disciples; they spent the whole day praising God and talking of sacred things.
As night fell, they had supper together. Their spiritual conversation went on and the hour grew late. The holy nun said to her brother, “Please do not leave me tonight; let us go on until morning talking about the delights of the spiritual life.” “Sister,” he replied, “what are you saying? I simply cannot stay outside my cell.”
When she heard her brother refuse her request, the holy woman joined her hands on the table, laid her head on them and began to pray. 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 neither Benedict nor his brethren could stir across the threshold of the place where they had been seated.
Sadly, he began to complain, “May God forgive you, sister. What have you done?” “Well,” she answered, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.” So it came about that they stayed awake the whole night, engrossed in their conversation about the spiritual life.
Three days later, Benedict was in his cell. Looking up to the sky, he saw his sister’s soul leave her body in the form of a dove, and fly up to the secret places of heaven. Rejoicing in her great glory, he thanked almighty God with hymns and words of praise. He then sent his brethren to bring her body to the monastery and lay it in the tomb he had prepared for himself.
– from Dialogues by Pope St. Gregory the Great
…there was yet no wild bush on the earth…for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth, nor was there any man to till the soil.
I can’t contain my excitement after having read this passage! In this second account of creation, man was a prerequisite before life could even begin on earth. The wonder that I felt after having realized that, from the very beginning, God had in mind that we, human beings, would be his co-workers in completing his creation.
Quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (307), “God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbours.”
God has such high regard for us that he has entrusted us this great task. He’s got great expectations of us!
Honestly, before entrusting a task to someone, we do background checks. If we reflect on how we do our work, we don’t just assign work on anybody. They have to convince us that we they will deliver the work. They need to have the skills and the right attitude. For those who are parents, I’m sure you don’t just leave your kids with anyone.
But with God, he entrusted to us his creation. He entrusted to us the living creatures of this earth, and he entrusted to us the lives of our brothers and sisters. And, from our human experience, we know that we don’t simply entrust something to anyone, let alone someone we do not know.
It’s different with God. He knows how frail we are. He knows our tendency to sin and not take good care of his creation. He knows that we will always fall short. And yet, he keeps on entrusting lives to us.
He has great expectations of us. I could only think that one of the reasons for this is that he knows how good we are because he made us good. He knows that by giving us the graces, we can be who he made us to be. We can be the man he entrusted with the life in this world.
What is great about this expectation is that it’s not a burden. This expectation is a proof of God’s love for us. He gave us this purpose, and thus, he gave meaning to our lives.
Brothers and sisters, perhaps today, we can make a commitment to make a life-giving act to other people, or to the other living creatures, or maybe even to the environment.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us see the love behind your great expectations of us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for giving my life a purpose and a mission.