Monday, April 9, 2018

PRAYER WASN'T ENOUGH


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A favorite blog friend, Dee Ready, who can be found at the blog, Coming Home to Myself  is a  talented writer and has written another fine book. This one is a memoir that chronicles her life as she becomes a nun, struggles with her decision for years and eventually leaves the Order.

She takes you into the little known world of Convent life. Convent life is a world few of us have ever truly seen.  We outsiders can only guess, assume and too often romanticize the life thanks to the movie versions we are exposed to.  "The Sound of Music" and "Sister Act" might be a bit misleading:)

Dee honestly recounts the strictness, the need for mind censorship, but also the smiles as she navigated the steps to taking her vows and becoming a teaching nun.

Her time spent as a teacher in a missionary school I found totally scary but Dee coped. She really had to deal with a violent group of middle schoolers.

The reality of the rigid discipline and scripted thinking wore on her.   After years of  struggle and self questioning, she discovered her calling and desire to serve were not enough, nor were her prayers.  Dee finally buckled and left the Order.

That extremely difficult and conflicted decision led to a mental breakdown. She neither hides nor sugar coats anything and takes you along on her journey through the darkness of a breakdown to the other side where healing waited.  This is a powerful book.

I am thinking she needs to write a sequel of her post convent years as she adjusted.  I know I'd read it.

As a child I had toyed with the idea of becoming a nun in the Episcopal church as their mystery and kindness intrigued me. I put that thought aside though when I realized I probably couldn't ride my pony wearing a tunic:))

I now know positively after reading this book that I would never have made it. Having my every move and thought controlled by others would have broken me.

I admire those who can and do make the life of service through the church a success. It is not for the rebellious or free thinkers.

I hope you might enjoy the journey into this secret world as much as I did.

41 comments :

  1. I don't recall ever wanting to be a nun and seeing the movie The Nun's Story starring Audrey Hepburn cemented my resolve to stay a civilian.
    Congratulations to your friend on her book.

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    1. Rian,
      Thank you. My desire was short lived and probably had something to do with our new, really handsome, red headed priest.

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  2. Dear Patti, thank you so much for this perceptive review of the convent memoir "Prayer Wasn't Enough." I came to your blog this morning looking forward to one of your delightful stories and found this review. Such a wonderful surprise with which to begin the week. I hope you know how grateful I am for your kind words.

    As to another memoir, that's in the works. I'm going to write about the ten years that followed my leaving the convent. It took that long before a psychiatrist prescribed the medicine that solved what the breakdown had brought into my life. I hope that next year, that memoir will be published. Everything, of course, depends on good health! I know you understand that. Peace to you, pressed down and overflowing. And thank you again.

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    1. Dee,
      Thank you for such a good read. What you went through afterwards was astounding. I'm in line for that book.

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    2. I'm next in line. I love everything Dee has written!!

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  3. Dear Patti, I forget to say in my earlier comment that I'd have loved to see you riding that pony and wearing a habit! What a sight--a true Don Quixote moment! Peace.

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    1. Dee,
      Ha ha. Guess I could have ridden side saddle.

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  4. Sounds like an interesting book. I never wanted to be a nun but I had a maiden aunt who worked as a housekeeper for the Catholic church and would have been a nun if she could. She worshiped the church---no pun intended---but she was mildly mentally challenged. Her whole life revolved polishing and cleaning the church and living quarters of the nuns and priests.

    I'm off to check out Dee's blog.

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    1. Jean R,
      Such devotion and she served in her own way. I hope she was well cared for as she aged.

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  5. I too will check out Dee's blog. My cousin entered a convent but left before her final vows. She had chosen a teaching order and she was in no way going to cut it as a teacher. My mother would have been happy if her daughters chose to be nuns and her sons went into the priesthood, but we all four left the church entirely as soon as we left home.

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    1. Olga,
      Dee mentioned how most Catholic mothers wanted a son or daughter to commit to the church.
      Sadly, I back slid in high school.

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  6. I am almost finished with the book, and I agree that the life inside a convent does not sound like it would be for the faint of heart. It was difficult to learn of the awful students she had to deal with, and the lack of any solution was painful. It's a very well written, though, and well worth reading.

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    1. Djan,
      I too was stunned at the nastiness of those young teens and agree, the teachers were not given any real solutions.

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  7. I too have followed Dee's blog and her story for several years. I have my book copy --and am in the process of reading it now.... Dee is one amazing lady ---and I admire her so much.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Betsy,
      Yes she is. Hope you enjoy her journey that we got teasers about reading her blog. So glad you are doing better Betsy. Keep it up.

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  8. Patti thank you so much for this review. I have been hearing a lot about Dee's book and I look forward to reading it. I hope you are continuing to feel better Patti!

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    1. Bonnie,
      Thank you and hope you enjoy it. Thank you also for the good wishes and yes,I am doing MUCH better.

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  9. As Blanche said in the Golden Girls "Nun, the word says it all".

    Thanks for the book review, it sounds like a really good read. I can't imagine you ever wanting to become a nun somehow.

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    1. Joey,
      Ha ha, I remember that line too. My desire to become a nun didn't last long and occurred when I was about 9 years old. Had a bit to do about our handsome new priest rather than the noble desire to serve:)

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  10. Is the book available as an e-reader?

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    1. River,
      If you have access to Amazon yes. You can click for the location under the picture of the book. Even if you don't have Kindle, you can download it to your computer. Good luck.

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  11. This sounds like such a great read and interesting journey into a world I would never enter. Thank you for writing down this review and insight.

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    1. robin,
      Thank you. You are right, it is a look into a world most of us would never enter.

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  12. Thank you so much for this. I think we all thought we might have this calling. Then again, what can I say, I joined the much regimented ARMY. LOL

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    1. Mage,
      Ha ha, you are so right. The military is also regimented but at least you didn't have to feel guilty about your thoughts as long as you did as told.

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  13. It is indeed a powerful book. A life I couldn't even imagine. And you are right, Dee is a wonderful writer and it would be interesting to read about how her life worked out after she left the convent.

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    1. Inger,
      I understand she has that follow up book on the burner. Can't wait.

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  14. She indeed has an interesting life story. One of our best friends daughters and a former student of mine is a teaching nun in a small traditional order. It definitely takes a special temperament, personality and commitment...

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    1. Ray,
      You named the three traits so important for such a such committed life.

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  15. I can't wait to get her book. Thanks so much ... and thanks for always having a blog entry that is informative and interesting.

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    1. Ginnie,
      Thank you and I think you will really enjoy the book. Happy reading.

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  16. It sounds like an interesting book. In my generation and especially in my neighborhood with many catholic families, becoming a priest or nun was often contemplated. Sad to hear it was even rougher than I feared.

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    1. Barbara,
      I know my Catholic friend's moms always wanted a priest or nun in the family unless they were an only child. Then the desire for grandchildren trumped a gateway to God.

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  17. Thank you for reviewing Dee’s book. She had sent me information about it at a time when I was very busy with other things. Now, I will go and download it after I finish here. I do want to read her story.

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    1. Sally,
      I know I am mostly preaching to the choir here as most of my readers are also Dee's followers. Know you will enjoy it.

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  18. Thank you for the review. The bio sounds very interesting, and I can't imagine living in a world where my every word and deed would be controlled by others. I have never wanted to be a nun, but I have the utmost respect for those who give their lives to God in this way. I am glad you are better. Watch out for the storms coming tonight..I hear we are in for a doozy.

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    1. Terri,
      Me too on not being fit for such control. I wouldn't have even been able to follow orders in the military. Still I too so admire those who do devote their lives to God and helping others. Mother Theresa is one of my heroes.

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  19. Hello to my blogger associate, Arkansas Patti. I was so pleased when Dee agreed to do my interview. Her memoir was an eye-opener for me. I grew up in a Catholic household and my mom was one of twelve kids. Ya gotta love those large farm families - what would my grandparents have done without all that free labor? Four of mom's sisters went into the convent and my mom always said they did it to "get off the farm." She also sang my dad's praises: "Thank goodness your father came along and saved me." When my aunts came to visit, they'd squabble with one another like cats in a gunny sack. They certainly set me on a lay path - no nunneries for me. Thank you to them for doing me that great favor.

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  20. Even though I am a Protestant, at one point I would have become a Catholic and then a nun. Why I don't know. I had just seen "A Nun's Story" and read the book.

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  21. Yes Patti I’m one of your choit folks. So proud of Dee accomplishing this goal.

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