Scholastica and Benedict

In the Divine Office, there is a lovely story about St. Scholastica, the sister of St. Benedict.

He used to visit her every year. At the end of his last visit, when he got up to go, she begged him to stay. When Benedict refused, she prayed so hard that a deluge of rain arrived and he had to stay. They talked all night of spiritual things.

Three days later she was dead and he sensed from afar that her soul had left her body like a dove taking flight.

The power of her prayer had given them back those precious extra hours together.

Today’s reading (Luke 10:38-42), shows a parallel to the story.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

An Austrian coin commemorating Sts. Benedict & Scholastica