With the help of a winky face, Sister Lisa challenged me to reach into the deep end of my spirituality.
Her honest and beautiful approach to a recent wedding led to a curiosity of my perspective on the possibility of religious life today. The winky face was for effect.
Other than the occasional pop culture reference, the majority of my childhood exposure to women in religious life was at family events (several non-habit-wearing nuns in my family) and from the 1966 classic, The Trouble with Angels. If you have never seen this film (shame on you), I suggest you stop reading.
The goofiness of 1960s films culminates in this story about a trouble-maker and her partner in crime. These teenage “captives in a nunnery” spend three years throughout the movie at a boarding school populated by nuns and other teen girls. Heads butt and rules break at every turn.
By the grace of God, after a lot of trial and much more error, the trouble-maker comes to understand a purpose in self-sacrifice, especially that which it takes to be a religious sister.
“But how could you give it up?” Mary presses. Reverend Mother smiles and says, “I found something better.”