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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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Ok, I don't plan to make a habit of using the Wikipedia random button, but after last week, I figured I needed to give it another try. The result: Something arguably more obscure, but more interesting...

Upon hitting the big red button (figuratively - actually it's a piece of little blue text), I was learning about the Bernardine Cistercians of Esquermes.

What struck me was that the Cistercian Order dates from the 11th century. The Bernardines, the houses for women, first started to be founded in 1196. But the most interesting part of their history, at least in Wikipedia, is from the last 200 years. Huh. For those of us stuck in the secular world, or at least, the Protestant world, religious orders really aren't a going concern.

The Monastery that was to become the base of the Cistercian Order was founded in 1098 AD. But is was following the clerical suppression after the French Revolution of 1789, nearly 700 years later, that three particular women had the fortitude to continue their work, which resulted, eventually, in re-establishing the Bernardine Cistercians. It is hard to imagine, for one such as me - raised in relative freedom and democracy - what these women went through, for their faith and for their God.

It's not the life for me. I am fascinated by cloistered life. I am fascinated by people who can look at all that life has to offer, and take such a simple, focused and devoted road. Sometimes, I envy them. They have a clear path, and perhaps they are tempted to stray, perhaps not, but the path is there, should they choose to follow it.

But then I go home, and flip on the TV and have a rum and coke. Then I turn off the TV, and look out at my property with tremendous pride on the work I have accomplished. And I think - no matter that there is peace to be had - I need to have stuff. And a place to keep my stuff. And things to do. Different things, sometimes different each month, week or even day.

I don't know my path. I'm not sure I could put up with it, if I did.

I have been more "spiritual" at various times in my life. But the world is too wide and too interesting for me to be sheltered from the diversity in such a way. I will have to find peace in a different way.

Or perhaps in my next life...

02 February 2011

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