The other night I watched the movie ‘Novitiate’ and I found it mesmerizing.
‘Set in the early 1950s through the mid-60s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality.’ Rotten Tomatoes
The movie gave a fascinating portrayal of what women had to endure to become nuns, prior to Vatican II in the early 1960s.
Their restrictions included, not being able to speak for several hours per day, which was termed the the ‘Great Silence’ where they only communicated by sign language. Also the encouragement by the Reverend Mother to flagellate themselves with what was termed the ‘Discipline’ which was a a binding of several small, knotted ropes, that they beat their backs with as a penance for their sins.
Also, there was extreme psychological abuse and public castigation and shaming. One young woman starved herself, as penance, and the Reverend Mother told her how proud that she was of her.
Now, I do not think that the Catholic church has a monopoly on persecuting parishioners. On the contrary…often you find churches that follow the leader…rather than follow God.
If you are a member of a church where the pastor or priest tells you that they speak for God…and that he does not bother or have the time to speak to common people…like you…you are following the leader.
If you are a parishioner in a church that you are giving of your finances, until it hurts, and the minister is driving a luxury automobile and live in a McMansion…you are following the leader.
If you are in a church that insists that they review your finances in order to determine how much you should be contributing to the organization…you are following the leader.
If you are being told how to dress or how to wear you hair or you have to ask permission of the faith leader as to life decisions that you should be making on your own….you are following the leader.
If you are trusting in the piety and holiness of your minister or priest and their direct connection to God…you are setting yourself up for a miserable disappointment and you are following the leader…not following God.
If you faith leader tells who you can love and who you can not…you are following the leader…not following God.
For christians…a relationship with your creator…does not require an intermediary.
If you dread going to church or mass or any faith gathering, because of what you anticipate the leader is going to say to you or require of you…it is time for a change.
‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ II Timothy 1:7 KJV
‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Hebrews 11:1 KJV
‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
Faith is designed to bring you peace. Gods love opens your heart and makes you unafraid of what others think of you as well as you own fears regarding your perceived shortcomings.
A life of faith is not the conforming to the rigid restrictions that flawed men of the cloth have designed and that illustrate their own demons.
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.’ Luke 4:18 KJV