Oh my gosh!! This book is hilarious!!!
One of the best things I’ve done for myself this year has begun reading again. NOT to the children – but for me! Like normal books. That have NOTHING to do with theology, mothering, parenting, home schooling, education, healthy eating, exercise, etc. so on and so forth. All self-help books have been banned from my life for at least another 12 months. At the very least. LONG STORY!!
It was a big shift – to start reading *gasp* SECULAR NOVELS but I’ve done it and I’m having so much fun. It’s been liberating also, to know that I don’t HAVE To finish the book. My life will not increase in value nor decrease in value if I simply, “Can’t get into” a particular work of fiction! Isn’t that one of the great things about fiction??
So, a few years ago I read, “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd and I LOVED it, but had forgotten about her, as an author, until the other day when Mom and I were talking. Mom said, “Oh you just have to read THE MERMAID CHAIR! It’s about a woman who has an affair with a Benedictine Monk!” I said, “MOM!?!” She said, “I Know! It’s bad! You soo have to read it. It’s hilarious!!”
So, naturally, I mean….children should obey their parents, right??
And so far, I’ve gotten to page52, and can’t contain it anymore. I absolutely have to blog the following quotes. They are in relation to Brother Thomas, who I’m supposing is going to be “THE” Benedictine Monk… 🙂 In the following passage, he is doing penance because he wrote some concerns of his in a private journal which was discovered by an older monk who tattled on him. Presently, he is lying prostrate on the floor of the sanctuary – to give him time to meditate on his doubts. And I quote:
The floor of the church smelled of Murphy’s oil soap and something else sour and slightly manure-ish that he realized was…mud from the marsh and fertilizer from the garden…clogged and hardened into microscopic crevices in the [wood floor]….having been tracked in on the monks’ shoes for the last fifty years.
Here in this rarefied place – where they all imagined themselves marinating in holiness through their ceaseless rounds of chanting and prayer – was all this hidden mud and cow sh*t. It was hard to overestimate how much this pleased him. (hahahaha – me laughing!!)….
The scent emanating from the church floor…made him think more highly of religion somehow. …. Thomas [knew] suddenly that what he smelled was a fine patina of the most inviolate beauty, and shockingly holy. He was smelling the earth.
Of course he’d taken the name Brother Thomas because he was the resident doubter, and it was practically a cliche, but he took it anyway. He doubted God….he felt God the same way the arthritic monks felt rain coming in their joints. He felt only the hint of him.
On the first page of his notebook, he’d written “Disputed Questions” in honor of Thomas Merton, the monk who’d written a book by that title. He’d pointed this out to Dom Anthony as some sort of defense, but it had not saved him. If you were going to be heretical and get away with it, you needed to be dead long enough for people to get over the heresy and rediscover you. ” (emphasis mine)
I got to that line and knew I HAD to come blog this!! I laughed so hard because that is just. SO. true. I have lost many “friends” over the years – or maybe I should say acquaintances have come and gone – a large part of that because I can be very heretical in my thinking, and I’m always willing to just share my (sometimes wayward) thinking with someone else thinking that I’ll receive back some kind of equally valuable thinking on their part. Most of the time though, I just get scoffed at or criticized! But that’s why I only have a FEW really good friends who have been able to see past my heresy (if that’s what YOU want to call it) and get to know me. I guess I’ve probably even done that to a few people here and there before. I think it’s probably just human nature to spend too much time contemplating the WHAT instead of the WHO.