Thursday, January 24, 2013
Theologian Thursday: Scholastica (480-543)
Scholastica was the twin sister of Saint Benedict, and they were both highly influential in their local religious life--running monasteries and such. I have always been fascinated by twins. In fact, when I was quite young, my "imaginary friends" were girl/boy twins (Is that really weird to admit on a blog? Oh well.). I think it's that unique familial closeness that is unparalleled, even in other sibling relationships. Of course, that's not always true, but I digress.
Scholastica and Benedict were indeed close. They founded a convent and a monastery within a few miles of each other and thrived on theological conversation and debate (even though they could not enter each other's house due to monastery rules).
During one of their meetings, Scholastica had a premonition that it was to be their last, and so when it was time for her brother to leave, she begged him to stay. Presumably considering her fears silly, Benedict refused, insisting he must go back to his house because he never spent the night away. Scholastica pitched a fit--crying and praying to God that Benedict would not leave. Gregory the Great tells us that she "poured forth such a flood of tears upon the table, that she drew the clear air to a watery sky" and such a huge storm began that Benedict couldn't leave after all.
He was like, "What the heck, dude," and she said "I asked a favor of you, and you refused it. I asked it
of God, and He has granted it!" So there. The ended up continuing their meeting, talking and praying through the night.
She died three days later.
The moral of the story is ALWAYS TRUST YOUR SISTER.
I'm going to pass on "What you should read" and Ratings today, since all we really know about Scholastica is from that piece by Gregory, and as far as I can tell she didn't write anything. So basically I'd just be making stuff up. And this post is already weird enough as it is.