The Twin Who Tagged Along
By Sister Marie Louise Krenner, OSB
Once upon a time there was a little girl. Her name was Scholastica. Scholastica had a brother. His name was Benedict.
Benedict was just as big as Scholastica. Scholastica was just as big as Benedict. They were twins.
Benedict and Scholastica prayed and worked and played together. They did just about everything together. They did just about everything together because they were twins.
Their father told them all about God. He told them all about Heaven. Scholastica said, "I like to think about Heaven. Heaven is forever and ever."
Their mother showed the twins how to talk to God. Benedict and Scholastica talked to God together. They talked to God in the morning when they got up. They talked to God before they ate. They said goodnight to God when they went to bed. And sometimes they just talked to God.
"I like to talk to God," said Scholastica to Benedict. "When I go to Heaven I will talk to God forever and ever."
The twins worked together. Sometimes Benedict helped Scholastica. Sometimes Scholastica helped Benedict.
Benedict was just as big as Scholastica. Scholastica was just as big as Benedict. They were twins. The twins played together. Sometimes Benedict played what Scholastica wanted to play. Sometimes Scholastica played what Benedict wanted to play.
"I like to play now," said Scholastica. "But when I go to Heaven I will not play. I will just be with God. I will be with God forever and ever."
Scholastica liked to play with Benedict. She wanted to do everything he did. Benedict liked to play with Scholastica too. He let her do lots of things with him. Scholastica liked to be with Benedict. She wanted to go wherever Benedict went. Benedict liked to have her with him, too.
In those days the schools were not like our schools. Just a few boys went to school. They learned to read. They learned to write. They learned some other things, too.
But most of the boys did not go to school at all. They worked at home. They learned to do the work their fathers did. They never learned to read. They never learned to write.
Little girls did not go to school. Their mothers showed them how to paint pretty pictures. They showed them how to sing and play music. They showed them how to be kind and make others happy.
One day Benedict's father said, "Benedict, you are big enough to go to school. I want you to learn to read and write."
Benedict was happy. He wanted to learn many new things.
Scholastica wanted to go to school, too. Her father said, "No Scholastica. You can not go with Benedict." Scholastica began to cry.
So Benedict went away to school. Scholastica stayed at home. Sometimes she was sad to be without Benedict. Sometimes her mother and father were sad to be without Benedict, too. They did not get to see him very much.
Benedict and Scholastica got bigger. Soon they were very, very big.
One day Scholastica heard something about Benedict. She heard that Benedict did not go to school anymore. She heard he lived just for God.
"Oh," said Scholastica. "I want to live just for God, too."
So Scholastica went to see Benedict. It was far away. She walked and walked. At last she came to a big hill. Benedict lived at the top of the big hill.
Benedict was so surprised to see Scholastica. But he was very happy. He showed her all around. He showed her everything. Scholastica saw a big, big house. She saw big workrooms and little workrooms. She saw lots of men.
"The men are monks," said Benedict. "Monks are people who live together just for God. Monks help each other to love God more." The monks smiled. They were very polite but they did not say much.
Benedict said, "I am like a father to them. Sometimes we work. Sometimes we rest. But we never talk much to each other. Then we can talk more to God."
Scholastica liked everything she saw. She was so happy.
"Oh Benedict," she said. "Will you help me to live just for God, too?" Benedict thought a little. "Sometimes," he said, "you must do hard things. Hard things for God. Can you do hard things for God?"
Scholastica said, "I want to do little things for God. I want to do big things for God. I want to do everything for God."
So Benedict and Scholastica prayed to God. They asked God what he wanted Scholastica to do. The next day, when Scholastica came back, Benedict said, "I will help you to live just for God."
Scholastica was so happy. She said, "I know some girls who want to live just for God, too.
We will all live together. We will be called sisters." Benedict smiled. He was happy too. He did want Scholastica to live for God as he did.
So Scholastica and the sisters lived in a big monastery all their own. She was like a mother to the sisters. God helped her to be a good mother to them. Benedict helped her too.
Scholastica loved her sisters. She was very kind to them. She helped them to love God. She helped them to love one another. The sisters loved Scholastica. They did whatever she asked them to do.
"Mother Scholastica wants me to help her cook our dinner today," said one sister. "Mother Scholastica told me to clean this room," said another sister. "When we obey our Mother, we obey God. We make God happy that way."
The sisters loved one another. They knew that God lived in all the sisters. They knew that when they loved one another they were loving God. They talked to God. They sang to God. Most of the time the sisters sang and talked to God together.
Even today, right now, there are sisters who sing to God. They sing to God for the people who do not have time to sing to Him. They sing to God for fathers and mothers who work hard all day. They sing to God for everybody. And God loves them very much.
Scholastica and the sisters worked. Some of the sisters worked in the monastery. They kept the monastery clean. They kept it clean just for God.
Some of the sisters cooked. God wanted the sisters to eat enough so they could pray well. Some of the sisters sewed. They sewed things to use in church. They sewed dresses and things for the sisters. Even today, right now, there are sisters who clean and cook and sew. They do all their work just for God. And God loves them very, very much.
Sometimes a sister got sick.
Then Benedict said to Scholastica, "You must take good care of the sick sister. If Jesus were sick you would take good care of him. Jesus is in the sick sister. What you do for the sister, you do for Him. So Scholastica took very good care of the sick sisters. She was just like a mother to them. She gave a drink of water to them. She gave them things to make them well. Sometimes she just talked to the sick sisters. Scholastica knew she made Jesus happy when she helped a sick sister.
Scholastica said, "When I go to Heaven, Jesus will say, Come to Me Scholastica; come to Me. You gave a drink of water to a sick sister; you gave it to Me. You were kind to a sick sister; you did it to Me. Now you may stay in Heaven. You may stay in Heaven with Me forever and ever." Scholastica told the other sisters to be kind and help the sick sisters. She wanted them to make Jesus happy, too.
Even today, right now, there are sisters who take care of sick people. They take care of sick people just for God.
And God loves them very, very much.
One day a man came to see Scholastica. He had two little girls with him. He was sad.
"Mother Scholastica," he said. "Please help my little girls. They have no mother to show them how to do all the things that little girls should know."
Scholastica smiled at the little girls. They smiled, too. Scholastica asked God what He wanted her to do.
Soon she said, "We will help your little girls." Then the man was happy. The little girls were happy, too.
Soon more mothers and fathers came with their little girls. Some mothers and fathers said, "You can tell our little girls more about God than we can."
Some of them said, "Benedict and his monks help our boys. Please, will you help our girls?"
"We would like to read and write," said some of the little girls.
Scholastica was very polite. She said yes to everyone. Scholastica knew God wanted the sisters to do this work for Him.
Scholastica and the sisters told the girls about God. They showed them how to be polite. They showed them how to read and write. The sisters showed them many other things, too.
Even today, right now, there are sisters who tell girls and boys about God. They tell them all about Heaven.
Some girls and boys want to be mothers and fathers when they get big. The sisters show them how to be very good mothers and fathers.
Some girls and boys want to do other kinds of work when they get big. The sisters show them how to do whatever kind of work they want to do. The sisters pray for all the girls and boys. And God loves them very, very much.
Benedict and Scholastica became old. Benedict did not go to see Scholastica very much. Scholastica did not go to the monastery where Benedict lived.
Benedict loved Scholastica. He prayed to God for her. Scholastica loved Benedict too. She prayed to God for him.
One day every year they went to see each other. Benedict came down the hill from his monastery. Scholastica came down the hill from her monastery. They came down to a little house just between the hills.
All day long Benedict and Scholastica talked to each other. But they just talked about God.They loved God so much. They talked about Heaven. Scholastica liked to hear about heaven.
Then at night Benedict went back up the hill to his monastery. Scholastica went back up the hill to her monastery. And they would not see each other for another year.
Benedict and Scholastica became older and older. One day Scholastica and Benedict went to see each other. This time they were very old. All day they talked about God. When night came Benedict got up to go home. Scholastica wanted to hear more about God. She wanted to talk more about Heaven. She knew that soon she was going to Heaven to see God. But she did not tell that to Benedict.
Scholastica said, "Stay all night with me. Tell me more about God. Tell me more about Heaven."
No!" said Benedict. "I must go home. Monks can not stay away from the monastery at night time. You must go home too." Scholastica could not go home. She put her head down. She began to cry. She asked God to make Benedict stay with her.
Benedict went to the door but he did not go. Benedict could not go because just then God made it rain. God made it rain hard.
"Oh Scholastica!" said Benedict. "What did you do?" He knew Scholastica had asked God to make him stay.
Scholastica looked up. She smiled now. "I asked you to stay but you said no. So I asked God. And He said yes."
So Benedict stayed all night with Scholastica. They prayed. Benedict told Scholastica more about God. He told her more about Heaven.They did not sleep that night at all.
In the morning, God made the rain stop. Then Benedict and Scholastica went home.
Scholastica was very old. There was no more work that God wanted her to do. Scholastica loved God very much. She wanted to go to heaven to see Him.
God loved Scholastica very much, too. He wanted her to come to heaven.
When it was time for Scholastica to go to Heaven, God let her soul look like a little white bird. Benedict was at a window. He was praying. All at once he saw the little white bird. God let Benedict know the white bird was the soul of Scholastica.
Benedict saw the white bird go up and up. He saw it go right up into Heaven.
Now Scholastica is a saint. She is happy with God in heaven. And Scholastica will be happy with God in Heaven forever and ever.