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.
My dear friends. I wanted to write this to you before I got too weak to put my thoughts together. As you may know from the article "Care Of The Sick," I'm very sick. The vet told Abbess Jane and Prior John that I have lymphoma. Amma is doing everything that she can...
Looking in the Mirror – The Evils of Pride and Vanity
Hi there! Do you spend much time looking in the mirror? Certainly a glance at ourselves is needed now and then to make sure our fur looks tidy ad we have washed up around our mouths after a meal. What I am talking about is excessive mirror gazing. Mirror, Mirror on...
The Lure of Private Possessions
I saw it! It was right there in plain view. I saw a toy peeking out from a corner in one of the cat beds, One of my Benedictine feline companions had secreted it as if it belonged to them! I hissed in shocked disbelief because this action is not what is written in...
St Benedict and Care Of The Sick
“Place your hope in God alone,” Benedict says in Chapter 4 – The Tools for Good Works. Boy, have I had to do that over the last month! I’m only now starting to feel and eat better. Here’s what happened to me… Last month I just couldn’t eat and was hiding in dark...
Dragging the Cat Bed
Something happened the other day that sent me to the Rule. I wanted to discover Benedict's thoughts on change and acceptance to answer this question - How much should we try to rearrange things around us if certain things are not to our liking? Br Ricky Redecorates...
A Benedictine Model for Relationship – The Monastery Cellarer
I’ve observed a few things…and more…in this cloister that warrant an opportunity for fine-tuning. Some of these have to do with little inconveniences like late meals, cat food that tastes like cardboard and snoring confreres. But the ones that warrant serious...
Trade Panic For Calmness and Peace
Hi! The Rule of St Benedict has taught me many things about what kind of person I am to be and how I am to treat others. I have also learned ways that I can foster a positive environment for everyone, including me. In particular, I need to be aware of and follow...
Kindness to the Elderly
Looking back over articles I have written I see that I'm inclined to complain and find fault. This is not very Benedictine. Indeed, Benedict tells us "keep your tongue free from vicious talk" (Prologue 17). Perhaps I have caused you distress with this tendency...
The Danger of Leaving the Enclosure
In Chapter 66 - The Porter of the Monastery, Benedict points out that the monastery is to be constructed so that everything needed is within the walls of the enclosure. He is concerned about the danger of leaving the enclosure. Benedict fears that his members...
The Benedictine Art of Meandering
Have you ever seen a wild turkey? Abbess Jane said that she once saw seven wild turkeys clustered around her bird bath drinking the foul stuff like patrons around a bar. Yuck! After several minutes of liquid refreshment, a couple turkeys wandered off to forage in...