Memorial of Saint Scholastica, virgin
(I Kings 8:1-7.9-13; Mark 6:53-56)
Today the Church remembers St. Scholastica. She was the sister of the great St. Benedict, credited with founding western monasticism. Scholastica herself founded a community of women dedicated to prayer. Evidently little more is known about her except for a humorous story told by pope St. Gregory the Great. During a fraternal visit when Benedict wanted to leave his sister, heavy rains delayed his departure. Scholastica attributed the inclemency to the Lord’s wish that he visit with her longer.
Perhaps something could be said here about nuns. Many confuse nuns with religious sisters. Nuns are the feminine counterparts of monks. They dedicate their lives to prayer where religious sisters are known for their apostolic activity. Residences of nuns are usually called monasteries although smaller communities may be said to live in convents. Some male religious orders have an auxiliary arm of nuns praying for their apostolic activities. Franciscan, Dominican, and, especially, Carmelite nuns have been formed according to the rule of the founder(s) of their male associates.
Today’s first reading treats the celebration that accompanied the dedication of Solomon’s temple. Israel is exuberant over the establishment of a fitting place to worship God. The Lord will abide in its confines to assist the people who come to pray there. Nuns and monks give perpetual witness to these activities that all Christian should perform. We all need to adore the Lord and seek His help.