Week of February 9, Eve of Solemnity of Saint Scholastica
Christine Ereiser, OSB, St Joseph Monastery, Tulsa, OK
Each year on the Solemnity of Scholastica, I am glad to hear the words of the first reading at Mass: “For stern as death is love.” It seems a fitting passage for her, whose love was greater than her brother’s. (Dialogues, Gregory the Great)
Scholastica had a fierce and relentless love for her brother and for their time together. We each experience those times with dear ones during which we find ourselves wanting more, as did Scholastica. I think the point of the story of Scholastica and Benedict and the rainstorm is not about Benedict being grumpy or scrupulous, but about Scholastica’s desire to be totally and completely with God. She probably knew that this was the last of their meetings on earth. The strength she gleaned from their visit would sustain her for her final journey to meet her loving God.
Do you think Scholastica kept her death before her each day? Maybe that is why her visits with Benedict were so precious to her – each could be the last.
Do I love God with the sternness of death? With the laser-focus Scholastica had? Do I enter each encounter with loved ones with the realization it could be the last time? Do I hold each encounter precious and allow it to lead me closer to my heavenly home?
Artwork by Emmanuel Pieper, OSB, St Walburg Monastery, Covington, KY
Sister Christine Ereiser is a Benedictine Sister of St Joseph Monastery, Tulsa, OK,
where she has been a member for 35 years. She recently completed 12 years
as prioress and is now on sabbatical.