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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feast of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict. What little we know about her life is found in St. Gregory the Great's book, the second Dialogue, which is an account of Benedict's miracles. It seems that she was buried in Benedict's own tomb where, soon after her death, he was also buried. She is the patroness of Benedictine nuns.

The Gospel today has the Pharisees and scribes gathered around Jesus and, as usual, criticizing because they saw that some of his disciples ate their meals without washing their hands. So they ask Jesus, "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?"
Jesus responds: "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts."

Then Jesus went on to say, "How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!" And he goes on to show them that they nullify the word of God in favor of their tradition.

This Gospel is one that I find rather terrifying. We do have the tendency to criticize! That is bad enough, but we then justify our actions, even to ignoring the commandments of God.
How often have I avoided something I know I should do by justifying myself with some custom or tradition that allows me to do what I want rather than what I know I should be doing?


Anonymous said...

Dear Mother Rosenthal, I happened upon your blog quite by chance. How nice to see a blogging RSCJ! I have a question for you. What is the current state of the Cause of Sister Josefa Menendez? Her writings have helped so many to grow in confidence in the loving mercy of the Heart of Jesus. She is one of those little souls to whom the Father revealed the secrets of the Kingdom. One hears so little about her these days. Is there a postulator for her Cause? I eagerly await your reply. Thank you.

Helen said...

Dear Father Mark,
How nice to hear from you. I think we decided as the Society of the Sacred Heart not to pursue any cause for canonization. I think the both Sister Josefa and Mother Janet Erskine Stuart were looked at years ago (actually I know we were collecting the information when I was in Rome in 1960), but heard that we decided not to continue; it is an expensive process.
I loved the "Way of Divine Love" even before I entered the Society. She taught me much about the love Jesus has for souls and how much we are loved by him. One of my favorite quotes is "Come to my Heart and there find all that you need, even if it is what I have asked of you."
You can find our international website as a link on the right side of my blog.
Thank you for writing. Helen

Anonymous said...

Dear Mother Rosenthal,
I didn't know that Mother Janet Erskine Stuart was also once considered for canonization. I remember reading her years ago and being very moved by her appreciation of the liturgy. She struck me as being sensible and cordial at the same time. Another RCSJ book that marked me for life was "The Sacred Heart in the Life of the Church" by Mother Margaret Williams. You have a magnificent spiritual heritage as RSCJs!
Father Mark