From Prayer for the Morning (February 8) in the Magnificat: Pride sets subtle snares. Whenever we imagine that we are in control of life - our own or someone's else's - we have fallen prey to the ancient whisper in the Garden: "You shall be like gods." Mortality is the enduring reminder that we become like God not by our own power but by the power of the cross.
I came upon the following and see what you think:
A Serpent in the Second Garden: The Plight of Cloistered, Contemplative, and Consecrated Nuns
Some still hear the ancient whisper, even in the lingering, the serpentine shadows of their lengthening years. And to those who give heed in a withering night, it deceives, even now in the end as it did in the beginning – and this is the lie:
“The Second Garden, the Cloister Wall, is a dangerous fiction as was the first promise of God, seducing men and women to believe that the call to prayer and not the clarion to social reform is the remedy of the world; that strident voices, and not sacrificial lives, redeem the world of its evil; that unbridled self-assertion, not humility and silence, assuage the suffering of man.
Tear down the Garden walls! Pull down the Cloister and make the Vineyard of God a brothel of men; predate the Vine and prepare the winepress. Self-fulfillment … not sacrifice! This is what the world craves for, although it is not what the world needs. Like Joseph in the desert, let the dreamers all die. It is the workers who have built the great marvels in Egypt and at so paltry a price as slavery to sin!”
Of what possible use are these dreamers of prayers? What have they accorded you? Better to prevail in suits on the courts of men, than in prayers before the Courts of God.
Poverty? It is your curse. Chastity? It is your bane. Obedience? It is your abasement!”
In an age of unbridled self-esteem and self-assertion, there is no room for Cloisters that hem in the hubris of women and the madness of men.
… or is there?