I must confess, I was full of good intentions about writing a full report of this week`s programme yesterday, when it was all fresh in my memory, but I just didn`t get chance to do so, and consequently, I have forgotten chunks of it :-(
Ian, you asked about the guided meditation - the women were "talked through" a biblical passage by one of the nuns, and then were told to sit or lie quietly and just imagine themselves walking along with Jesus and what He would say to them.
It seemed rather an odd concept to me, but then, I`m not RC. Perhaps this is much more common in their religious tradition.
When the atheistic poet Victoria returned from her weekened exeat with her menfolk, she smuggled in chocolates, half a dozen bottles of wine and bath oils, which she and her partner in crime Angela took care to hide away from everyone else in their group as well as from the Nuns, which the Narrator commented was utterly against the Nuns` belief in holding everything in common and sharing. They later bunked off to a shed in the garden and got drunk together, which seemd utterly stupid and pointless. They were behaving like rather selfish juvenile teenagers, to be honest, which I thought was very disappointing.
Iona the folk singer was really kicking against the harness of discipline and a timetable of services, and was heard to complain to the Abbess that she wanted to be free to worship God in her own way, which did make me wonder why on earth she wanted to go to a convent of strict enclosure in the first place :-0
The abbess and the other nuns were very patient with her, and when , almost two-thirds of the way through, they were granted visits from their families, Iona`s Christian brother came to see her. She was telling him how frustrated she felt with the strict regime,and for every woe she discussed, he had a reasoned and coherent argument as to why it was a good thing and why it could be helping her, which drove her nuts because she was looking for tea and sympathy, LOL.
He eventually said that if the nuns had been living and praying this way for hundreds of years, it was obviously of value and obviously working, which she should consider carefully before dismissing it as valueless and irrelevant to her lifestyle and "needs".
She did in fact take this on board, and after much thought, began to "see" what the point of the disciplined prayer structure and silence was. She had the grace and courtesy to apologise to the Abbess for her curtness and rudeness in their previous conversation, which was equally graciously and lovingly received.
We saw her after Compline, when the Sisters had left to observe Great Silence, in the Chapel, singing "Amazing Grace". The words "I was blind, and now I see" were amazingly apposite and poignant for the revelation she had just had.
Victoria feels she has become more tolerant of others, less selfish, and feels she is able to control her temper and reactions better. Her inconsiderate behaviour to the others would seem to belie that, though.
Debi, who was abandoned as a small child by her mother, is developing a lovely, healing and loving warm relationship with her mentor,who had been widowed before entering the Convent, and we hear the nun saying to Debi that she wished she had been Debi`s mother, and Debi saying she wished that the lovely nun had been her mother too. It was very touching. Debi is learning to trust and to love and to develop a sense of self-worth, and is obviously deriving great benefit from the services, which she attends diligently and punctually, unlike the others !
Anyway, running out of time now, but will try to write more soon. Have to go get the little ones from school, then we are going to my mother`s for tea.
Take care, my friends, and God bless you all !