In the Nick of Time

After watching Frontline’s program on Secrets of the Vatican , it seems I exited the Church in the nick of time.  I actually left way before that, and when I left the convent, I also abandoned the Church. I had become disillusioned by the way things were run by the Boys in Rome and wanted to pursue a broader level of spirituality.

Pope Francis’ attempt to curb the corruption and damage done by the male hierarchy, has not gone far enough, and is far too late. Nothing short of total annihilation and rebirth is needed for the Church-as-Christ-intended-it. I seriously doubt whether radical reformation is even possible from within the power structure itself.

It needs to come from the grass-roots.

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Where is God?

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I knew we were being watched in the convent. Too closely in my opinion.  But, in spite of their motive in saying so, I never felt watched by God. I also never felt bullied by that same deity. If anything, I felt his absence.

I felt ignored by him.

Forgotten.

Unimportant.

In spite of endless hours on my knees in prayer, I never felt one inch closer to that distant, male god of my youth.

Years later, however, I look back and realize how Spirit had been there for me all along, and how she/it tendered me along through the gray labyrinth of those seemingly endless days.

As I look back now and write about the emptiness, I reclaim that Presence, and allow it to wash over my years. And though I understand he/she/it no better, I embrace and celebrate it fully.

In every day–and every moment–and with every breath.

In my book, I retrace the journey of my loss and unexpected rediscovery.

Crowds

I’ve rarely lived alone and have no desire to. It doesn’t take living in a separate house to feel isolated. All those years in the convent taught me that. We had rules back when that forbade us to get close to anyone. . . even one another. The only one we were encouraged to get closer to was God, and that could be pretty lonely. That was often my experience, even though I was surrounded by nuns.

Loneliness is a recurring theme in my yet-to-be-published book, Once Upon a Convent

Changes, Changes.

One of my favorite people in the whole world was the Mother Superior whose “reign” spanned my last years in the convent.  In total contrast to the bossy nun who preceded her, this woman of authority treated each individual with great dignity.  Vatican II took hold while she served office, and she used her position to gently guide the community away from an atmosphere of authoritarianism and into democracy. It caused quite a ruckus, but I was among the many who were thrilled at the reforms. Others, however, staunchly objected to every single change. It puzzled me why anyone would prefer to remain in Dark Ages.

Stay tuned for the completion of my book.

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Aging Life

Image  The pursuit of God has always been favorite main hobby.

Obviously. . . .otherwise, I wouldn’t have stowed away in a convent for nineteen years. When I believed I had failed to discover the Divine behind the cloister walls, I looked elsewhere. Rather than finding  the reassurance and comfort a traditional God, I discovered it in Nature. Trees, especially, were a source of light during my darkest times. (Those times to be revealed in my book). I often headed deep into the woods and settled at the base of a cluster of pine trees, where a soft and uplifting presence took me over.

Since leaving the convent, I continue to seek the Divine. Only now, I seek it outside the realm of traditional religions or churches. I find a solid ground and hope–often through Trees. As it happens, I have known Trees to be among the most ancient of living beings on our planet, and find that sense of divine presence magnified among the more Ancient Standing Ones.

Fifteen years ago, a few friends and I visited the site of a 2000 year old Cedar tree in Northern Idaho. It towered above the surrounding forest in magnificent glory, while we hastened to gather at its feet. We were unable to speak, we simply stood, breathing in her splendor.

 I felt touched. . hushed. . deepened.. .

seen.

I have since learned that there are even more ancient, beings on our planet. Even more than we are aware of. Pictured above is sea grass, that has been living in Spain for 100,000 years. The sight of such beauty brings me to my knees. Something I was too often required to do in the presence of our tabernacled God in the convent.

Enough said.

Now back to my writing for the day.

Footprints in the Snow

It feels like I’m walking barefoot in the snowdrift outside my door, and leaving deep imprints on the frozen landscape. Beginning a new blog feels the same…like mincing cold-footedly through the how to’s and what for’s of a new dashboard.

Slippery and cold terrain for me.

Getting used to the convent was worse, because I was only fifteen years old and four hundred miles from  home.

So, for the past few years, I’v been up to my eyeballs putting words on paper, and trying to slog my way through the writing terrain. I aim to finish and finally published a book by the end of 2014.

Wish me luck.