Simply Complex

”Faith from Ruin” last time ~ The Space Between

Clara packed the small suitcase as she prepared to leave the monastery. She had begun her postulancy six months before to pride and high expectations. She lived with, prayed with, and worked alongside the nuns. Her devout Catholic family were surprised at her decision to explore a cloistered order and her desired to become a nun. They expressed happiness and loudly shared their thanks for the profound blessing of having a daughter who wanted to become a nun.

She arrived with a heart desiring to serve God and to live her life devoted to prayer and the quiet simple life as a nun. Her enthusiasm was quickly dampened by Mother Superior who saw someone with a devotion centered in her head and not in her heart and soul. Clara didn’t resent Mother. It was necessary for these nuns to be strong vibrant women were willing to diminish themselves and be simple, childlike. This simpleness was not her vocation.

What she discovered she was quite complicated. She couldn’t minimize her love and devotion for God into the smallness the order embraced. She had glamorized her desire for a simple life as a solitary room with few possessions, work in the garden digging and weeding or baking in the kitchen where the world famous quick breads were prepared. It was that, but it was much less for Clara’s belief of spirituality. Her love for God, and prayer was vast, spacious and filled her up with a bursting joyful heart.

This order did not have ornate loud Holy Hours, lengthy improvised prayer time or Mass in the Extraordinary Form. It was ordinary. Plain. They were devoted in the simplicity of silence and daily recitation of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. There was no piano or instruments at Mass. The music came from the pure voices of nuns, novices and postulants.

She left with less than she arrived with. She gave her crocheted blanket to Sister Catherine who always had cold hands. The crucifix she hung above her bed was given to Mother Elizabeth and she bestowed her prayer kneeling pad to Sister Margaret, whose pad was so flat it offered no relief to her aged knees that devoted so much time on the ground.

Her family didn’t know she was leaving. She couldn’t bear the disappointment they would wash their faces with, so she boarded the bus back to her home town. When she showed up two days later, there was no welcome.

Until she met Lucy’s father, Jericho, the silence was agonizing and deeper than she’d ever experienced in the Monastery. After Jericho, the volume was definitely turned up.


Write at the Merge button

Write at the Merge-Week 37

Write at the Merge gave two options for this weeks post:

Pitch a TV Pilot.

Write an unusual back story.

I chose to give Clara some back story. A song from one of my favorite bands, Lifehouse, Hanging by a Moment is quite appropriate for Clara at this point in her past. She’s hanging onto her dreams.

Her Serene Heart

****You can find the previous chapter of Vivid Black here.

Ray stepped into the garden of St. Therese Monastery and quietly wandered toward Leta who stood amid a carpet of flowers. Gently he slid his hand into hers and she calmly returned the grasp of his familiar hand. She turned to look into a his anguished face, crushed with grief.

“Leta. Sarah Jane.” was all he managed.

Gently she enfolded his shaking form into her own, and softly stroked his hair. They both wept.

He slid his hands up, held her face and tenderly kissed her forehead.

“Baby, she didn’t listen. She went out anyway and, and she’s gone.”

She tipped her head back to look in his eyes, pursed her lips, inhaled deeply and as the breath left her, her shoulders relaxed and her face smoothed into serenity.

“Ray, I knew—”

“But how? Brother John Mary said—“

“No. Not like that. I knew. Something just poured out of me and I knew Sarah Jane was gone. She has been so out of control, so defiant and it’s not your fault. Ray? Do you hear me? It’s not your fault.”

The stress and worry of the past day had no where else to go and his shoulders went slack as he collapsed onto the bench next to them. Leaning his head over the back, he let out the breath he’d been holding since he got the call from Waters. Smiling, Leta looked down at him and touched his cheek. Her serene heart and devoted soul, reminded him that her heartbeat was the other half his.

She took his hands and tugged until he stood. His arm around her waist, their hands joined in front, their love and grief carried them to the Abbot’s office where Leta would leave word of her departure.

Tomorrow would be another day, another test. Tomorrow they would learned how to live with the empty ache. Today Ray needed Leta’s heartbeat and Leta needed Ray’s courage to solve the injustice, to find the monster who killed their daughter.


Music and how it fills the space in my world has been on my mind a great deal thanks in large part to Lance at “My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog” and his 100 Word Song prompts. I AM a musician, and have a ridiculous collection of CD’s and my iTunes library loaded with more music than will fit on my iPod. Consequently, and a good consequence I think, when I write, if a song isn’t running through my head already, I finish and then starting spinning through the jukebox in my brain for a song to go with the post.

Fix You by Coldplay came quickly when I finished this piece. It fits the emotion and the need between Ray and Leta.


Trifecta is responsible for inspiring this post with their prompt this week. They give us one word and these instructions:

Your prompt this week is the third definition of:
HEART (noun) — 3: personality, disposition ;

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.