Today is the feast of a saint in whom I have never had any interest, but perhaps we should honor St. Scholastica as the patron saint of girls whose brothers push them aside.
Scholastica was St. Benedict’s twin sister. She had stayed in the house while Benedict seemed to be sowing his wild oats. She approved of his girlfriend, but she had no taste for the wild crowd of young men he was moving with. So, she was proud of her brother when he suddenly had too much of the purposeless lives of his companions. To bring his life into a real relationship with God, Benedict fled to the cave at Subiaco east of Rome. Pleased with that, Scholastica followed her twin’s example, taking to her room to be alone with God.
When their uncle left Benedict a hilltop property at Monte Casino south of Rome, Scholastica found a nearby property for herself and for a group of ladies who had attached themselves to her for spiritual nourishment.
Much the same thing was happening with her brother on Monte Casino. He attracted other men who, seeking God, were attracted by his balanced approach to that search. He had his followers preparing themselves for praying by working off their restlessness with fieldwork. Men were finding true substance to their lives in following Benedict. From the followers of St. Anthony in Egypt he had adopted the practice of chanting the Psalms in common.Important aunts and uncles of Benedict and Scholastica had let them follow their unusual life plan; but they made one demand of Benedict: he would be bound to give one day a month to his twin. Through the ages there has come down the story of an afternoon visit when Benedict was saying he had to be on his way, while his sister was pleading with him to stay on for a bit. As he rose to leave, she knelt and offered a heartfelt prayer for more time. And with that, a storm came from nowhere, forcing Benedict to sit down, and continue the conversation.