Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Sisterhood show on Lifetime TV - true Convent life?

A recent OP-ED remarked that TLC (the "learning  channel") had long deleted "Learning" from its TV shows.

I thought that was a good comment and a nice way to begin this blog. That is, TV is primarily entertainment although some shows try to disguise themselves as learning tools.

The Sisterhood is a show offered, not on the Learning Channel but rather on Lifetime TV.  Therefore, when I first watched it, I didn't expect much (to put it mildly).  Imagine my surprise when it actually seems to be not only a decent show but not anti Catholic! Perhaps that's because they involved a real Sister Order in the making of the show and some of those seen in the show are Sisters in real life.

The scenario is 5 young ladies trying to discern whether they have a vocation or not by "sampling" life in several convents.  Since they don't appear to be praying with the Sisters, I don't think I would call them "Aspirants" which usually is what they term non Postulants, living in a convent.

Additionally, the young ladies selected, while glamorous and "cute", would, I think, not pass the first interview for convent life.  Most of the young ladies seem to have little understanding of what convent life would entail for them or the commitment involved.

A bit - shall we say - unusual, is that they are sampling not only life in the convent, but participating in the ministry of the Sister Orders they are visiting.  They all, being fundamentally nice people, enjoyed that part but of course, having been in the convent myself, I can say, convent life is a lot more complex than being a volunteer in a soup kitchen.

Despite the foregoing, I must say, I find the show, entertaining enough to hold my interest and a relief from the usual hate and discontent seen in TV shows concerning Catholicism.  Watch (as is good advice with all TV) with a grain of salt i.e. if you are interested in convent life, this show is not going to tell you much about convent life.

Convent life includes a lot of praying.  The day starts in with "morning prayers" and then, the Sisters go to daily Mass.  Sometime in the late afternoon is usually time for a Rosary with the group and then, of course, evening prayers.  That is, if you don't enjoy prayer, you might not enjoy convent life.

Then too, again where the show differs from reality, having a Vocation to the Sisterhood, is a call from God and therefore, even if a young lady loves convent life and praying a lot as I certainly did, that doesn't necessarily mean she has a Vocation.  In my case, God had other plans for me - a life partner husband, a son, four grandchildren and a great granddaughter.

I saw the great granddaughter in a dream, repeatedly over a 2 week period before I was pregnant with our son... the brief message I was given was "She needs you", which alerted me to the fact that God had a child to place in my womb.

Later on, we used Natural Family Planning which I hoped God would override (I was hesitant to get pregnant again as I had developed some serious health issues over the years) but God only had planned the one son for us.

I recently heard a wonderful homily given by a local priest which included this - "Joy is conforming with the Will of God" so regardless of what a person may think he or she has planned for his or her life, God drew up that Plan long before we were born.  "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb."  Jeremiah 1:5 tells us.  (the Photo is of the convent I was in, in the 1960's)