”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 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.