Prayer to St. Scholastica


Dear Spouse of the Lamb! Innocent and simple Dove! How rapid was thy flight to thy Jesus, when called home from thine exile! Thy brother's eye followed thee for an instant, and then heaven received thee, with a joyous welcome from the choirs of the Angels and Saints. Thou art now at the very source of that love which here filled thy soul, and gained thee everything thou asked of thy Divine Master. Drink of this fount of life to thy heart's eternal content. Satiate the ambition taught thee by thy brother in his Rule, when he says that we must "desire Heaven with all the might of our spirit." Feed on that sovereign Beauty, Who himself feeds, as he tells us, among the lilies?

But forget not this lower world, which was to thee, what it is to us,--a place of trial, for winning heavenly honours. During thy sojourn here, thou wast the Dove in the clifts of the rock, as the Canticle describes a soul like thine own; there was nothing on this earth which tempted thee to spread thy wings in its pursuit, there was nothing worthy of thy giving it the treasure of the love, which God had put in thy heart. Timid before men, and simple as innocence ever is, thou knewest not that thou hadst wounded the Heart of the Spouse. Thy prayers were made to him with all the humility and confidence of a soul that had never been disloyal; and he granted thee thy petitions with the promptness of tender love: so that thy brother,--the venerable Saint,--he who was accustomed to see nature obedient to his command,--yes, even Benedict was overcome by thee in that contest, wherein thy simplicity was more penetrating than his profound wisdom.

And who was it, O Scholastica, that gave thee this sublime knowledge, and made thee, on that day of thy last visit, wiser than the great Patriarch, who was raised up in the Church to be the living rule of them that are called to Perfection? It was the same God who chose Benedict to be one of the pillars of the Religious State; but who wished to show, that a holy and pure and tender charity is dearer to him, than the most scrupulous fidelity to rules, which are only made for leading men to what thou hadst already attained. Benedict, himself such a lover of God, knew all this; the subject so dear to thy heart was renewed, and brother and sister were soon lost in the contemplation of that Infinite Beauty, who had just given such a proof that he would have you neglect all else. Thou wast ripe for heaven, O Scholastica! Creatures could teach thee no more love of thy Creator; he would take thee to Himself. A few short hours more, and the Divine Spouse would speak to thee those words of the ineffable Canticle, which the Holy Spirit seems to have dictated for a soul like thine: Arise, make haste, my Love, my Dove, my beautiful one, and come ! Show me thy face; let thy voice sound in mine ears; for thy voice is sweet, and comely is thy face.

Thou hast left us, O Scholastica! but do not forget us. Our souls have not the same beauty in the eyes of our God as thine, and yet they are called to the same heaven. It may be that years are still needed to fit them for the celestial abode, where we shall see thy grand glory. Thy prayer drew down a torrent of rain upon the earth; let it now be offered for us, and obtain for us tears of repentance. Thou couldst endure no conversation which had not eternity for its subject; give us a disgust for useless and dangerous talk, and a relish for hearing such as are on God and Heaven. Thy heart had mastered the secret of fraternal charity, yea of that affectionate charity, which is so well-pleasing to our Lord; soften our hearts to the love of our neighbor, banish from them all coldness and indifference, and make us love one another as God would have us love.

Dear Dove of holy solitude! remember the Tree, whose branches gave thee shelter here on earth. The Benedictine cloister venerates thee, not only as the sister, but also as the Daughter of its sainted Patriarch. Cast thine eye upon the remnants of that Tree, which was once so vigorous in its beauty and its fruits, and under whose shadow the nations of the West found shelter for so many long ages. Alas! the hack and hew of impious persecutions have struck its root and branches. Every land of Europe, as well as our own, sits weeping over the ruins. And yet, root and branches, both must needs revive, for we know that it is the will of thy Divine Spouse, O Scholastica, that the destinies of this venerable Tree keep pace with those of the Church herself. Pray that its primitive vigor be soon restored; protect, with thy maternal care, the tender buds it is now giving forth; cover them from the storm; bless them; make them worthy of the confidence wherewith the Church deigns to honour them!
Prayer to St. Scholastica Prayer to St. Scholastica Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 09:56 Rating: 5

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