Friday, August 13, 2010

Romanticised Dreams of the Religious Life.

I never had any.

Which is good.

You see, when I first started discerning, I followed advice and read the famous book Goodbye, Good Men. And I made up my mind that whether I entered the seminary directly or joined a community, that That was going to be my experience. I prepared to pretend to dislike private devotions, and to ignore traditional forms of prayer. I read up on a few liberal Catholic authors so I could know some of their ideas and let people think I read them for fun. I prepared to live with priests and religious that never ever under any circumstances wear clerical dress or habits. I prepared for masses and liturgies that would make the organisers of the LA religious education conference scream "Abuse! abuse!"
I expected to live among people who have all the love for the church and it's teaching and magisterial authority that you'll find in people like Sr.Joan Chittister, Fr.Bourgeoise, Fr. Richard McBrien, Fr.Joseph O'Leary, and other of their ilk. I expected to lay low and keep any inkling of orthodoxy secret. I expected, in fine, that whether I went to seminary directly or joined a community, unless I join some rad trad community, I'd be in Hell on Earth, and would probably knock off a lot of Purgatory in the process.

Good thing it doesn't look like that's Not what's going to happen.

I think I did the right thing. I expected the worst, and found the best. The best community, and the best seminary. There's no perfect community. I found that out while I was looking. Some of them were a bit too strict for me (Think those Carmelite monks you see linked at the side) Some were too lax (I won't mention them out of charity) but expecting the worst made sure that I did'nt choose a community and go in thinking it'd be all candy and rainbows and dancing sugarplums, so even if as of yet, I can't find anything at all that I don't like about my community or seminary, the possibility that I might later neither shocks nor scandalises me.

So now that that's out of the way, I can't seem to find where I put some of the books I got that I have to bring with me. D;

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