Mewsings on The Rule of St. Benedict

 

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, one of the Worldwide Noivces of the Cloister.  My job here 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 and the feline Benedicine scholars used in our research.  The Mewsings are below these.

If you wish, you may jump to one of these sections.

Feline Cloister Authors

Quoted Benedictine Scholars

The Mewsings

 

Feline Cloister Authors

Br Randy

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).

Br Ricky

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

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).

Clarissa Anne
Resident Novice

Clarissa Anne is a new writer for Mewsings on the Rule of St Benedict.   Her role as a Resident Novice is to welcome visitors, feline and human, to the Paradise Cloister page of the website.  She is the perfect feine for this role as she is understanding and compassionate.

Clarissa Anne’s favorite verses from the Rule of St. Benedict:

All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, who said: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matt 25:35). RB 53.1

By a bow of the head or by a complete prostration of the body, Christ is to be adored and welcomed in them.  RB 53.7

 

New feline writers will be added when they publish their first article.

Winston the Chip peering into Amma’s office hoping to learn 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 developmentStay 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.

Maria Benedicta Ramos, OSB-F

Maria Benedicta Ramos, OSB-F, PhD-F, is a Brazilian-born monastic scholar who now lives in the United States.  She known for her many pawed books and other publications on early Christian spirituality and the Desert Mothers and Fathers.  Among the most widely read is her Mew translation of The Prayers and Meditations of Cyprian Kenric Fur, an important 11th century feline theologian.  She also popularized the collection Apophthegmata Cattus:  Wisdom from the Early Christian Desert Felines, a companion to to the Apophthegmata Patrum (the sayings of the Desert Fathers).  In a recent unpacking of the Rule on this website, Resident Novice Little Jenny quoted from Sr. Maria’s book, The Feline Path to God: Mewsings on the Prologue to the Rule of Benedict.  To read Little Jenny’s article on Prologue 10, tap here.

Honoring her call to monastic life and The Rule of St. Benedict, Sr. Maria’s frequently and lovingly mews her favorite verses from the Rule.

What is more delightful than this voice of the Holy One calling to us? See how God’s love shows us the way of life.

Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see the Holy One who has called us to the eternal presence (I Thess 2:12).  Prologue 19-21

To read about Sr. Maria Benedicta’s life journey, click here.

The Mewsings

Getting Into Trouble for Being Ourselves

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...

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Welcoming Newcomers With Love

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...

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Helping Others In Sadness or Grief

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...

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Replace Labeling With Love

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...

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Cultivating Fairness

Cultivating Fairness

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...

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R-I-C-K with Ricky – Surviving the Chase

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,...

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Randy’s Farewell

Randy’s Farewell

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...

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The Lure of Private Possessions

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...

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St Benedict and Care Of The Sick

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...

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