The Parallel Between Monastic Nuns and Motherhood

Nicole BugnackiUncategorized, Year of the Sister

A Reflection on In This House of Brede by Megan Keyser How delighted I was to see Rumer Godden’s inspiring Catholic novel, In This House of Brede, among the reading selections in this “Year of the Sister.” This was my second reading of the novel, and I was struck, even more profoundly this subsequent time, with the exquisite poignancy of the work, which paints a vivid and awe-inspiring glimpse into the rich beauty of monasticism, while also stripping away the somewhat “unapproachable” veneer of cloistered life, and, subsequently, humanizes a community of rather ordinary women, who are none-the-less embarking on a journey of extraordinary and radical spiritual surrender. To the modern individual, it might seem incredulous to accept that parallels could possibly exist between monastic nuns, who have entered into a life dedicated to prayer, spiritual pursuits, and worldly detachment, and mothers, who are very much entrenched in the material demands of managing a home and attending to corporeal needs of human existence. But the challenges and difficulties inherent to both remain strikingly similar, as they each represent a denial of self for the Love of God. This shared purpose unites us – as sleep-deprived, daunted, and frankly, overwhelmed mothers … Read More

Pssst. I have a little secret. 

Janel LewandowskiUncategorized, Year of the Sister

I have a little secret. I don’t like reading Well-Read Mom’s spiritual reads.  You see, I find reading them incredibly difficult. I desire to have read them (note the past tense), but the amount of discipline it takes to immerse myself in these books is challenging. Often at this time of the year, I find myself reflecting on why this is so difficult for me. Have I failed? My self-analysis reveals things I don’t really like to admit and would be easier to put off thinking about until I repeat this process in Lent. Sigh. My internal process goes something like this. The book list comes out. In my mind, I begin to create a hierarchical list of the books I am looking forward to reading. I see the advent spiritual read: The Way of Perfection. November comes. I am filled with good intentions. I’m starting early.  I snuggle up with my cup of coffee in the coziest chair in the house, and bribe the kids with a movie and think. Here I go!  I can do this. But somewhere around page 22, I begin to give up. This reading is slow. This is hard. Maybe I can’t do this.  … Read More