St. Benedict and St. Scholastica
Today we concluded our sermon series Sinners and Saints, a series where we have been learning about the saints of the church. For each of these saints, it’s been more about what God did in them than what they did on their own. On Sunday, we learned about St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, twin siblings who devoted their lives to God and left a significant mark on our world.
St. Benedict and St. Scholastica were born around 480 AD in Nursia, Italy to a wealthy family. Benedict went to school in Rome, but he was turned off to the pagan lifestyles of his colleagues. Therefore, he left school and went on his own search for God. He dwelled in a cave and developed an intentional way to grow close to Christ. People were moved by his way of life and coaxed him in to leading a monastery. He was so strict in his spiritual disciplines at one monastery that his monks tried to poison him. Needless to say, he left that monastery and later established a monastery in Monte Cassino. St. Benedict is most well-known for the rule of life he developed. His rule of life guides the practice of numerous monks today, and there are actually three Benedictine monasteries in Texas. A rule of life is an intentional path to grow as a disciple of Christ. St. Scholastica was the leader of a convent nearby Benedict’s monastery and she established Benedict’s way of living at that convent too. In Benedict’s rule of life, he had a commitment to both work and prayer. He believed faith was meant to be lived out in community- in praying, worshipping, and discussing spiritual matters with others. In his rule of life, all guests were worshipped like Christ.
Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, “Carry out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” In the United Methodist Church, we understand salvation as a holistic path that guides us to God throughout our life. We can work out our salvation by God’s grace through creating and living a rule of life to draw us closer to God. For both Benedict and Scholastica- communal prayer, individual prayer, work, hospitality, small group discussions, and self-care (eating and sleeping) were important in their rules of life to grow them as disciples of Christ. If you were to develop a rule of life, what would be important spiritual practices to draw you closer to God? By creating and living a rule of life, like St. Benedict and St. Scholastica did, we carry out our salvation by God’s grace.
Each of the saints we have talked about in this series were similar in their all-consuming love for God and how they would go wherever God called them to go. They wore God’s clothes to shine Christ’s light in the world. We too are called to wear God’s clothes in our world, to bring light, hope, and love to the dark, desolate, and difficult places in our world.
Monday- Philippians 2:12-16
Tuesday- Proverbs 2:1-9
Wednesday- 2 Corinthians 10:17-18, 11:1-2
Thursday- Matthew 25:1-3
Friday- Psalm 44:2-16
Questions to Consider and Discuss
1. If you were to create a rule of life, what would be important practices for you to include?
2. What is one practical way God is calling you to wear Christ’s clothes this week?