Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Hidden Lives of Nuns?

I'd seen this book on the shelf at St.Vinny's for weeks & finally decided to buy it for one cool dollar. I'm thankful that's all I paid for it! I have to admit, it kept me riveted till I got to the halfway point & then I just started feeling discouraged. No doubt, the author, Cheryl Reed, is a wonderful writer. However, I couldn't help but feel like she had a hidden agenda. Can a Protestant author's 5 year journey & 300+ interviews really paint an accurate picture of the "hidden lives of nuns"?  She uses headings like "community", "obedience", "chastity", "poverty" & "spirituality", but almost always seeks to blow the traditional meaning of such words common to religious life out of the water. All throughout the book, she strives to portray nuns as typical women who do extraordinary things. I couldn't help but notice that she focused most on those who were unhappy with (or didn't give a damn about) the Pope or the Magesterium of the Catholic Church.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Meeting St. Germaine

The Little Shepherdess 1885
This picture has been in my home for a decade or so. It's a print of a painting done by one of my favorite artists, W.A. Bouguereau.  I've always been mesmerized by her haunting gaze.

Lastnight, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I found this picture attached to an article about St. Germaine (she was "Saint of the Day" for June 15th). I don't know why, but I always thought St. Germaine was a valiant man who fought in the Crusades. Apparently not. There WAS, however, a St. Germain (no "e") who lived in the 3-400's, had a military career & ended up becoming a monk.

St. Germaine was a french girl who was born in 1579. She only lived to be 22. Besides the fact that her mother died, Germaine was born with a gimpy hand & a disease called scrofula, which is a type of tuberculosis. Her father remarried a vicious woman who succeeded in torturing & banishing Germaine from the house because she couldn't stand to look at her. Germaine was forced to live in the barn, eat table scraps & was sent off to spin wool & tend sheep in a particularly dangerous area of the countryside.