Author Topic: Loss of Faith and Perversion  (Read 1393 times)

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Offline Maria Regina

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Loss of Faith and Perversion
« on: January 31, 2016, 03:07:03 AM »
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  • I remember the days when I was young and filled with zeal for the Roman Catholic Church.

    I was accepted and entered into a Dominican Convent. My fellow postulants, a large class of 27 bright and beautiful ladies, also seemed to be devout and willing to learn a monastic way of life in order to become saints. Most of us, though, did not really understand the demands that would be placed on us.

    I do not know how many here have read the book or have seen the movie, The Nun's Story, but many of the things that happened in that movie really happened in the convent. For example, nuns did make prostrations. Novices and professed sisters had to make prostrations before the Mother Superior if they failed to observe certain rules, but we were told that as postulants, we were not required to make any prostrations.

    On that first evening of our religious lives, before we entered the chapel for Vespers and Compline, the Novice Mistress informed us about Prostrations. Several girls had positively horrid looks on their faces. Like, "Oh, no, what did I get myself into." The next morning, we were told that one of the girls had cried in panic all night, so that her parents had to come and get her. She was the first postulant to leave our group, now we were down to 26.

    As this was post-Vatican II, some changes were already affecting us.
    Habits were being modified, and some rules were being changed.
    In other words, we were being modernized to fit into the modern world.
    Middle Age customs designed to help us become saints were being discarded.

    Six months later, after we were clothed in the Dominican Habit, we became novices. It was at that point, however, that some upsetting things happened.

    We were given a book to read called The Sister's Vow of Chastity, which included a detailed course in human sexuality. After reading an in depth description of marital love, about four novices decided to leave us, realizing that they could not take the vow of chastity, because they missed their boyfriends and now wanted to get married. Other chapters talked about "secret friendships" which we later learned were condemned by St. Paul in Romans 1:27. We were learning about serious sins and abnormal lifestyles that destroyed the life of God in our souls. Why were they teaching us things that we did not need need to know? Why were they perverting us?

    Even though we read great theological books like those penned by Dominican Father Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange, other books written by modernists challenged us to dump repetitive prayers like the Rosary or the Litanies to the Sacred Heart, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or to other Saints. After reading those books, some of the novices would start laughing when the Litany to the Sacred Heart was being sung. Shortly after that, those litanies were no longer sung in church.

    It seemed like everything was being questioned, and that we were being perverted from WITHIN the convent, which should have been a safe haven, a port of safety, a little piece of heaven.

    Finally, I left the convent because I was so shocked. I was not learning to love Christ, I was being drawn away from Him. Years later, I visited that same convent. Nuns were wearing civilian clothes. Gone was the holiness of life, gone was their innocence.

    Today, I was reading http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2012/08/woodburn_priests_arrest_focuse.html about the quandary facing those who run seminaries.
    How do they detect perverts before they become priests?

    Perhaps the question should be, "Are seminaries and convents producing perverts?"

    Lord have mercy.

    Offline Maria Regina

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #1 on: January 31, 2016, 03:19:08 AM »
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  • I guess the biggest shock was the fact that many of my friends who had entered the seminary or convent and had left, had become agnostic or atheists.

    These were some of the most beautiful, kind, and loving people I had ever met, and now they were bitter atheists or confused agnostics. Why?

    What caused them to change?

    They told me that the study of metaphysics caused them to dissect God into little pieces until He no longer existed. The study of philosophy convinced them that their reasoning was the sole determiner, and their study of the Renaissance convinced them to worship the creature rather than the Creator.

    In other words, the training they received in the seminaries and in the convents convinced them that God did not exist.

    Lord have mercy.


    Offline McCork

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #2 on: January 31, 2016, 12:30:29 PM »
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  • Great testimony, all of which I have basically heard before.

    Maybe not where you were, but religious who wouldn't go along with the changes were getting shock treatments.

    All this simply doesn't happen under a true pope.

    Offline McCork

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #3 on: January 31, 2016, 04:08:17 PM »
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  • Quote from: Maria Regina
    I do not know how many here have read the book or have seen the movie, The Nun's Story, but many of the things that happened in that movie really happened in the convent. For example, nuns did make prostrations. Novices and professed sisters had to make prostrations before the Mother Superior if they failed to observe certain rules, but we were told that as postulants, we were not required to make any prostrations.

    On that first evening of our religious lives, before we entered the chapel for Vespers and Compline, the Novice Mistress informed us about Prostrations. Several girls had positively horrid looks on their faces. Like, "Oh, no, what did I get myself into." The next morning, we were told that one of the girls had cried in panic all night, so that her parents had to come and get her. She was the first postulant to leave our group, now we were down to 26.


    I am kind of puzzled about this. If they were previously informed about prostrations as postulants, why would there be horrid looks when they became Novices?

    Prostrations, by the way, are completely traditional in the religious life.

    Offline Maria Regina

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #4 on: January 31, 2016, 06:39:25 PM »
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  • Quote from: McCork
    Quote from: Maria Regina
    I do not know how many here have read the book or have seen the movie, The Nun's Story, but many of the things that happened in that movie really happened in the convent. For example, nuns did make prostrations. Novices and professed sisters had to make prostrations before the Mother Superior if they failed to observe certain rules, but we were told that as postulants, we were not required to make any prostrations.

    On that first evening of our religious lives, before we entered the chapel for Vespers and Compline, the Novice Mistress informed us about Prostrations. Several girls had positively horrid looks on their faces. Like, "Oh, no, what did I get myself into." The next morning, we were told that one of the girls had cried in panic all night, so that her parents had to come and get her. She was the first postulant to leave our group, now we were down to 26.


    I am kind of puzzled about this. If they were previously informed about prostrations as postulants, why would there be horrid looks when they became Novices?

    Prostrations, by the way, are completely traditional in the religious life.


    Believe it or not, before we entered the convent, priests and nuns were telling the laity not to view The Nun's Story, saying it was not true. Yes, parts of it were not true, but the monastic practices were portrayed correctly.

    In The Sound of Music, the postulant Maria was shown making prostrations. The scenes of the movie were before WWII, during the reign of Pius XII, when monastic traditions were largely unchanged. The concession that this Dominican convent had made, already showed the inroads of Vatican II.

    The Novice Mistress was not only in charge of novices, but also in charge of postulants. It was she who told the postulants about certian monastic practices, such as prostrations and the silence which was to pervade the monastery except during the two hours of recreation we were allowed: once after dinner around noon, and then another period after supper around 6 pm.  Later on, she would introduce other monastic traditions, such as the Wednesday and Friday fasts, and the Great Lenten Fast.

    Incidentally, the Third Order Laity also observed the ancient Wednesday (the betrayal of Judas) and Friday (the Crucifixion of Christ), which were equally strict in that we could not eat any meat on those days, nor have any snacks in between meals. These penitential practices of fasting from foods and abstaining from meat reminded us of our own sinfulness, our need to repent and do penance, and our inclination to deny Christ or to crucify Him with our sins, unless we were constantly sober and watchful for the devil like a roaring lion searches about the world seeking those whom he may devour (1 St. Peter 5:8).

    Lord have mercy.


    Offline Maria Regina

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #5 on: January 31, 2016, 07:19:51 PM »
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  • Quote from: McCork
    Great testimony, all of which I have basically heard before.

    Maybe not where you were, but religious who wouldn't go along with the changes were getting shock treatments.

    All this simply doesn't happen under a true pope.


    When I was doing further studies at Holy Names University, there was a certain nun who was very vocal in protesting the changes of Vatican II. While the other nuns of her order had abandoned the religious habit for civilian clothes, she steadfastly wore the complete pre-Vatican II habit. Thus she was labeled as disobedient and out of the times. I do not know what happened with her as after I left Holy Names, I entered the Dominican Monastery.
    Lord have mercy.

    Offline Lighthouse

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 12:21:00 AM »
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  • Sounds like a very uncomfortable and disheartening experience, but quite common after Vatican II had helped demolish so much of the Faith.

    I would urge you to look more kindly on metaphysics and philosophy, as their use has always formed a very strong part of Church teaching. It was more likely the kind of metaphysics and the kind of philosophy that was being taught that was disruptive. St. Thomas used both to great effect, but it takes a strong mind to follow him, and the saint may not be suitable for those not blessed with an aptitude for higher learning.  

    In any case, most people have to have some kind of metaphysical ideas, and philosophical structures, or they would not be able to head out the door in the morning. The key is to find the correct structure, not just any old one that is appealing.

    Offline Nadir

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 04:07:08 AM »
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  • Maria Regina, how long were you in the convent and how long is it since you left?


    Offline Maria Regina

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 09:15:21 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    Maria Regina, how long were you in the convent and how long is it since you left?


    I was in the convent for three years and I left in 1973. Someone said that you can take a nun out of the convent, but you cannot take the convent out of that person. Even though it has been 43 years, it seems like yesterday, so vivid was the impression convent life had on me. I entered to stay, but I could not stay with all the disquieting things that were happening, especially the Buddhist retreat given by Thomas Merton.
    Lord have mercy.

    Offline AnonymousCatholic

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 11:14:06 PM »
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  • A great read on this topic is "Goodbye Good Men" By Michael S. Rose. He discusses the perversion of seminaries at length and it truly is a great book.
    "The things that we love tell us who we are" - Thomas Aquinas

    Pray for us Blessed Karl I of House Habsburg
    Matthew 10:34

    Offline Nadir

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    Loss of Faith and Perversion
    « Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 11:23:50 PM »
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  • Thank you for sharing your story, Maria Regina.

    Those years were so destructive of all that was good and holy in religious life. It was a blessing to come away WITH the Faith intact. That is one thing to be thankful to God for. There were a lot of evil people doing their best to destroy (wolves in sheep's clothing), and there were many naive and trusting souls who were at their "mercy". Nowadays we have the benefit of hindsight, but few had the insight to know what was happening. And it did come as a shock.

    As you describe the reactions of some of those postulants, they could not have had true vocations. A postulancy has that purpose surely, to weed out those who are not suited to the religious life. but... "You cannot take the convent out of" you for the simple reason that you truly had/ve a vocation. This vocation never goes away. Someone very close to me is in a similar quandary - unable to carry on in the situation that prevailed. I have also known older women who were forced to leave convents and they dealt in different ways. One became a consecrated virgin living in society. The problem is a lack of community life and thus support. Another sincere but deceived dear friend muddled through talking about the renewal and her responsibility to be part of it, right up until her death.

    I would say to try not to dwell on all those dreadful things you went through, like Buddhist retreats and the like, though they may loom large. To treat them in the manner they should be treated is to dismiss and replace them somehow. But how?

    Do you have responsibilities in the world nowaday?


     

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