10 Feb – 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
1 Kgs 11:4-13
“but the house-dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps.”
This weekend, we had that inevitable conversation with our 17-year old, one we saw coming, but dreaded nonetheless. Our first born had stopped going to church about 4 years ago, and now our second child showed signs of wanting to “take a break”! Our heart sank when it happened, and we cannot help but feel like we failed as parents. “Where did we go wrong?”, we asked ourselves.
Our greatest fear is that our children will grow apart from God and cut themselves off from Him. Even King Solomon fell prey to temptations and foolishness. Cut off from God, we are like branches chopped off from the vine — we wither and die!
Despite the disappointment, we know they must chart their own pathway; we must allow them the space and time to form their relationship with our Creator. During this Sunday’s homily, we were reminded that each one of us has our own unique and personalized spiritual journey. How many times have we, ourselves, fell on the wayside; but God never gave up on us! We all have our own special path to spiritual awakening and eventually find our way back to Him.
Today’s readings remind us of God’s compassion, mercy, and love. Even though God was angry with King Solomon, He spared Solomon the pain and humiliation by tearing down his kingdom not in his lifetime, but only in the hands of his son and even then, left his son one tribe! Jesus, touched by the Syrophoenician woman’s faith, cured her daughter of her affliction.
God will never abandon His children and we take solace in that! We pray too that we have done what we can in their formative years and planted that mustard seed in their hearts. One day, that little seed will grow into a tall, big oak tree and flourish for God’s kingdom.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Lorraine Wong)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please send angels and prophets to guide and lead our children in their spiritual journey. Keep that little fire within them burning, no matter how small, and open their hearts’ eyes to experience your love. Teach us, Lord, to be good role models for our children, inspire us with wisdom and discernment as we support our children in their journey back to you.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for your undying love and mercy! For being patient with us as we fumble through life; never giving up on us.