From a distance, she looks so young. Too young. And not ugly. No, not a make-up model, but she wouldn't have trouble getting a date. Closer, though, she's not as young as I thought. But even more beautiful. Pushing her cart through the supermarket, studying various reliefs for indigestion, her back to the world, to me, I wanted to catch her eye and just say "hello." But I chickened out.
Walking away, I think it's 1963 when it was common to see an attractive young woman in habit. Most of my life, though, it was rare. But every Tuesday and Thursday, she's there in the front pew with two other nuns (Sisters of Mater Dei), all in full habits, at 6:30 Mass.
After Mass, two of them walk through the soft morning sunlight down Shepard Road toward Highway 109. I don't know where they're heading, but seeing them reminds me of the Catholic Church's heyday in the 50s and 60s. They look so elegent, serene, powerful, and noble.
Women who turn into bitches to become CEOs and mothers of prodigy and everything to everyone except happy to themselves, who think power comes from killing their children in the womb or abandoning their families or buying a million dollar house need to sit one morning in St. Alban's parking lot at 7:00 AM and watch these women in their habits walking through the morning's golden dew. In them they will see power--unearthly power. The power of God Almighty in unassuming form. The essence of feminity without a hint of sexuality. Beauty that would make Max Factor spin in his grave in envy.
I've led a sinful life, and I still do. I know that's my problem to solve. But I am confident that if there were more nuns in habits floating around, I'd find sinning harder and grace more plentiful.
Dear Lord, I pray that more good young women don that beautiful uniform of the Spouse of Christ. I pray, too, that more quality young men become excellent, noble priests. But I have to thank you, Lord, for the glimpses of You I get to see in those three noble women in the front pew at 6:30 Mass every morning.
UPDATE: RomanCatholicBlog has a roundup of recent nun comments, especially the sad reality of "progressive" orders that seem far more interested in temporal satisfaction than in salvation.
UPDATE: RomanCatholicBlog (quickly becoming one of my favorites) was nice enough to comment and link to this entry but didn't get a trackback. Let this be that, and be sure to check out all the stories.