2008/01/16

Singing Nuns

I am a Catholic. But I am not Roman Catholic. Despite common parlance, it is not true that all catholics are also papists. The one unifying factor of the church of Rome is the Roman pontiff, and there is where we have our division. Traditional, sacramental, historic "one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic" Christianity includes East and West, and is not found only in Rome. As it states in Church Teaching For Church Children, "the opposite of black is white. The opposite of papist is protestant. The opposite of Catholic is heretic." That is where I stand.

Okay ... so I'm not in the Roman communion, and I know why I'm not. But they are my very close brethren, and these pictures say all the things I find attractive about the Romans at their best.

These are the "singing nuns" in Spokane, Washington. (If you're not from around here, you might need to know that the town's name is pronounced as "spoh-can" and not "spoh-cane." Would someone tell the national news people?)






Perhaps the day will come again, when ordinary neighborhoods and towns will see what I saw as a small child growing up a half a block away from All Saints Roman Catholic parish and school. These blue-habited nuns from Spokane remind me so much of the days before the splintering and shattering of the traditional religious houses in the US. Look at their joy! Look at their love! It nearly touches a viewer who is merely looking at a computer screen!

These nuns are, I think, evidence that lives lived with the great love for God, manifesting itself in love for all the beautiful world God loves so much, are lives lived in utter freedom. The nuns are free from the distractions and traps and confusions and noise of the getting and grasping, and they are free to pour themselves out. It isn't a life everyone is called to, but it is a life lived in the largest way possible.

I think I shall go and visit them this year.

2 comments:

Polly said...

In a nearby burg-- one of those grain elevator,a school and two churches villages--there is a Latin mass church. They have two traditionally dressed nuns. Sometimes I see them at Walmart.

Gina said...

A long-lost Seattle friend often referred to her birth city of Spokane as "The Can". The photo of the nuns on bicycles evokes memories of The Sound of Music, although I know that it's Maria and the children (not the nuns) singing and biking.