Welcome to “Mewsings on The Rule of St. Benedict, where you will find interesting and helpful articles written by Benedictine authors from the Feline Cloister. I am Mr. Biggs, a brand-new novice. My job is to acquaint you with this part of the website.
First, I need to tell you that the Cloister writers are guided by the Cloister Mission Statement:
Through non-judgmental observation and gentle sharing of feline Benedictine wisdom, members of the Feline Cloister strive to teach humans about The Rule of St. Benedict and how this Rule can help humans find peace and joy in daily life.
I would now like to introduce our able writers.
Feline Cloister Authors
A keen observer, Br Randy was a faithful and influential member of the Feline Cloister. His wit, cheeky observations on feline and human behavior, and his understanding of the Rule were much appreciated his readers.
In June 2013, he succumbed to lymphoma and is dearly missed. May he, along with other departed animal friends, enjoy romping in the Paradise Cloister.
Randy’s favorite verse from The Rule of St. Benedict:
“We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that in every place the eyes of the Lord are watching the good and the wicked (Prov 15:3, RB 19.1).
Currently Novice Master of the Feline Cloister, Br. Ricky has written several articles. He often helped Br Randy with research on the Rule using noted feline authors such as Sr Scholastic Muffin, OSB-F (Order of St. Benedict – Feline).
He wants to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Br Randy, but with a gentler approach. Br Ricky says that he hopes you find his reflections on the Rule helpful.
Br Ricky’s favorite verse from the Rule about Christ:
“What then, dear sister and brothers, is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us? See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life” (Prologue 19-20).
Sr Esperanza (Espy)
Sr Espy is a brand new writer in the Feline Cloister. She is also the Cellarer, a role which she delights in as she loves to eat. Sr. Espy can be very unpredictable in her behavior, swinging from companionable to confrontational.
Espy’s favorite verse from The Rule of St. Benedict: Her modifications are bracketted
“A generous pound of bread [cat food and treats] is enough for a day whether for only one meal or for both dinner and supper. In the latter case the cellarer [Espy] will set aside one third of this pound [for herself] and [not] give it to the members at supper. (RB 39.4-5 modified by Sr. Espy).
Sr Maggie is the newest writer in the Feline Cloister. She is the off-site Cloister Contemplative and lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with Jim, Amma Jane’s brother. Maggie is known for her focus on the spiritual life along with her frequent mewing for food and attention.
Maggie’s favorite verse from The Rule of St. Benedict:
“Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road that leads to salvation. It is bound to be narrow at the outset. But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.” (Prologue 48-49)
Sr. Nikki, OSB-F
Sr. Nikki, Cloister Porter, is a new writer for Mewsings on the Rule of St Benedict. Nikki is a perfect feline for her role as porter. She is very attentive and loving and is always ready to go that extra mile to help another feline or a human.
Nikki’s favorite verses from The Rule of St. Benedict:
“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else. You are not to act in anger or nurse a grudge. Rid your heart of all deceit. Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love. (RB 4.20-26).
New feline writers will be added when they publish their first article.
Winston the Chip peering into Amma’s office, curious about who will be the next feline author.
Quoted Benedictine Scholars
Feline Cloister authors are MOST careful about accuracy regarding The Rule of St. Benedict. Each author researches noted Benedctine scholars to develop and to teach the fine points of the Rule. Following are some of these eminent scholars. (Under development. Stay tuned for more.)
Sr Scholastic Muffin, OSB-F
One of the Benedictine scholars often quoted by authors in the Feline Cloister is Sr. Scholastica Muffin, OSB-F. Sr. Scholastica Muffin has written numerous books and many articles on The Rule of St. Benedict. She is known for her faithful attention to detail and for a readable writing style. Sr Scholastica Muffin wants her writing on the Rule to be a humble beacon of light that points to Christ. Her favorite verses from the Rule that guide her own life are from the Prologue. She feels that we can all heed these wise words from St. Benedict.
Let us get up then, at long last, for the Scriptures rouse us when they say: It is high time for us to arise from sleep (Rom. 13:11). Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from the heavens that every day calls out this charge: If you hear God’s voice today, do not harden your hearts (Ps. 95:8). Prologue 8-10
To read about Sr Scholastica Muffin’s life journey, click here.
Br Terrence Sebastian Furling, OSB-F
Br. Terrence Sebastian Furling, OSB-F is an American Benedictine scholar recently discovered by Feline Cloister writers and resident novices. Well-known in the scholarly monastic world, Br Terrence published over 100 books and countless articles on the Rule of Benedict and monasticism. Also known for his humor and wit, Br Terrence doesn’t mince mews in his writing. He paws it like he sees it, with insight, conciseness, and hunmility. Br. Terrence Sebastian is also sought after for lectures within and outside the monastic community. He is a regular monk, too, convinced that a monk should not work just with his mind, but also with his paws.
Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore monastics should have specified periods for manul labor as well as for prayerful reading…When monastics live by the labor of their [paws], as our fathers and the apostles did, then they are really monastics. (RB 48.8)
To read about Br Terrence Sebastian’s life journey, click here.
Leisure is a Friend of the Soul
“Thanks be to God that you are here!” (RB 66.3) I’m Sr. Nikki, OSB-F (Order of St. Benedict – Feline). You may be wondering about the title of my Mewsing, a “take off” on RB 48.1 in The Rule of St. Benedict - "Idleness is the enemy of the soul." In the winter 2023...
Meeting Challenge and Change with The Rule of St. Benedict
Hello there! Glad to be back with you again. I noticed this morning that my paws seem to be digging into the floor. Does that ever happen to you? It happens to me when I faced with the prospect of doing something I don't want to do. My paws may dig into the carpet...
Randy’s “12 Benedictine Days of Christmas”
Randy's Christmas Gift to his Readers and Fans - a very Benedictine version of the time-honored carol - "The Twelve Days of Christmas." His references from the Rule follow each of the 12 days. If you would like to hear Jane's audio rendition, please click on the...
Turning From the Crickets
I had a long mew with Amma last week. She’s concerned that there are Cloister members who are straying from their deeper purpose – to love God and others and to follow the guidance of the Rule. Aware of Benedict’s instructions to the superior to “exercise the...
Getting Into Trouble for Being Ourselves
Have you ever gotten into trouble for just being yourself? You are being who you are and someone else takes offense and gives you a nasty look, a word of reproach or a hard time. Like me, have you then been puzzled and wondered why the kerfuffle? Is it wrong that I...
Welcoming Newcomers With Love
Way back in August of 2015 Esperanza ( "hope" in Spanish), Espy for short, then a four month old kitten, appeared at Amma’s back door. Acting really cute so that Amma Jane and Prior John were enamored, she landed abruptly in the cloister. Well this really disrupted...
Helping Others In Sadness or Grief
I have some sad news to report. We lost one of our faithful members in the cloister of eight. Marcy had cancer and got really thin and weak. Amma Jane and Prior John did all they could to help her. The vet tried hard as well. But when Marcy left the house...
Replace Labeling With Love
Hello! Hope you are having a good day. Do you ever think about things that happened to you years ago, maybe when you were a child or teenager? This morning I was thinking about my early history, living with my mother, my sisters and my brothers in the "wilds" of...
I was reading the Rule today and came across what Benedict says about cultivating fairness in our lives. The Rule is loaded with instructions about how to treat others with fairness and consideration. He was concerned that the monastics, and by extension, us felines...
R-I-C-K with Ricky – Surviving the Chase
Hello! I hope you are curious about the title I gave to this article. It’s an acronym for a way to live within your family, workplace, church or other organizations, and anywhere you go. R-I-C-K is really helpful when we get into those emotion-packed discussions,...