From Sister Mary
Sister Mary

Dear Friends,

This month Benedictine Sisters celebrate the feast of our patron, Saint Scholastica. We are told that she was the twin sister of Saint Benedict and founded many monasteries for women. There is only one recorded story from her life, but we tell and retell it with relish.

It seems that once a year Scholastica and Benedict met for a family visit and the two great souls had weighty conversations. One year the conversation was so inspiring that Scholastica asked her brother to stay the night so they could continue talking. But Benedict was a stickler for the law and reminded his sister that no good monk was allowed to be absent from the monastery overnight. Scholastica’s instinct was love—she loved her brother and wanted to be with him, and she felt that through their shared love both could grow in love of God and others. So, she put her head on the table and prayed fervently to God to intervene. Immediately a torrential storm arose that prevented Benedict from leaving.

The person telling this story, Saint Gregory the Great, concludes: “Scholastica realized, according to the saying of St. John, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8). Therefore, as is right, she who loved more, did more.”

This issue of The Companion celebrates love beyond the ordinary, or the virtue of largesse—an extreme, overflowing generosity of spirt towards others. A retreat director once said that most of us need others to call us to largesse. He used the wedding at Cana as an example of how Mary opened the heart of Jesus to greater giving. I tend to agree. It’s the people whose stories you read in this newsletter—the volunteers, the staff, the guests—who crack open my sealed heart and insist that I am capable of greater love.

In peace,
Sister Mary