That girl didn't have a moment's peace from the day Adriano Dardano set foot in Galway and started chasing her.' Sister Brannigan said, as she led them around the convent garden. 'Nice of Francesca to stay still for him to catch her then wasn't it?' Alessandro remarked dryly. 'Mmph, ' the nun responded. 'My grandfather loved Francesca, ' Alessandro insisted. 'Far be it from me to speak ill of the dead. But let's call a spade a spade, hmm? Your grandfather was a charmer. Now perhaps he didn't realize just how naive our Francesca was and how besotted with him she was.' 'Mmm, very generous of you, ' Alessandro grumbled. 'I will say that on the times he brought some food he had made with Francesca up to the convent, it was clear he had a wonderful talent in the kitchen. Now mind ye, the Italian food was a bit rich for my taste but still, rather good.' 'I'm sure my grandfather's resting easier in his grave now that the holy sister has complimented his cooking, ' Alessandro whispered in Bree's ear making, her laugh out loud and Sister Brannigan turn to her in question.
I have a hundred-year-old aunt who aspires to sainthood, and whose only wish has been to go into the convent, but no congregation, not even the Little Sisters of Charity, could tolerate her for more than a few weeks, so the family has had to look after her. Believe me, there is nothing so insufferable as a saint, I wouldn't sic one on my worst enemy.
My parents sent me from Venezuela to the Convent of Our Lady, a boarding school in Hastings, which was horrible - like Harry Potter without the magic. Sometimes we went into town, and if we were caught chewing gum in our uniform, members of the public would take down our names and report us to the school.
Okay, God, I thought. Get me out of this and I'll stop my half-assed church-going ways. You got me past a pack of Strigoi tonight. I mean, trapping that one between the doors really shouldn't have worked, so clearly you're on board. Let me get out of here, and I'll... I don't know. Donate Adrian's money to the poor. Get baptized. Join a convent. Well, no. Not that last one.
Okay, God, I thought. Get me out of this and I'll stop my half-assed church-going ways. You got me past a pack of Strigoi tonight. I mean, trapping that one between the doors really shouldn't have worked, so clearly you're on board. Let me get out of here, and I'll...I don't know. Donate Adrian's money to the poor. Get baptized. Join a convent. Well, no. Not that last one.
And if the imam and the Muslim leadership in that community is so intent on building bridges, then they should voluntarily move the mosque away from ground zero and move it whether it's uptown or somewhere else, but move it away from that area, the same as the pope directed the Carmelite nuns to move a convent away from Auschwitz.
After the Spanish Civil War against Franco, a group of us got together: a group of well-to-do people who were sympathetic to the lost cause of a Republican state. We bought a convent in Toulouse and converted it into a hospital run by the Unitarians. It took care of the Spanish refugees who fled to Toulouse.
Perhaps her faults and follies, the unhappiness she had suffered, were not entirely vain if she could follow the path that now she dimly discerned before her, not the path that kind funny old Waddington had spoken of that led nowhither, but the path those dear nuns at the convent followed so humbly, the path that led to peace.
W. Somerset Maugham
Sometimes I long for a convent cell, with the sublime wisdom of centuries set out on bookshelves all along the wall and a view across the cornfields--there must be cornfields and they must wave in the breeze--and there I would immerse myself in the wisdom of the ages and in myself. Then I might perhaps find peace and clarity. But that would be no great feat. It is right here, in this very place, in the here and the now, that I must find them.
'All the Stars in the Heavens' takes place during the golden age of Hollywood, around an imagined story about Loretta Young; Clark Gable; Alda, a young woman with a secret who is preparing to become a nun but is cast out of her convent; and the scenic artist she meets on the set of 'The Call of the Wild.' It's a big, lush historical novel.
The silence of a convent at night is the silence of the grave. Too far removed from the busy world without for external sounds to penetrate the thick walls, whilst within no slamming door, nor wandering foot, nor sacrilegious voice breaks in upon the stillness, the slightest noise strikes upon the ear with a fearful distinctness. ("The Monk's Story")
'Monsieur,' Madame d'Arestel, Superior of the convent of the Visitation at Belley, once said to me more than fifty years ago, 'whenever you want to have a really good cup of chocolate, make it the day before, in a porcelain coffeepot, and let it set. The night's rest will concentrate it and give it a velvety quality which will make it better. Our good God cannot possibly take offense at this little refinement, since he himself is everything that is most perfect.'
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
And yet if anything in the world can save you, it is not a convent and not Catholicism, but simply an active interest in your fellow-creatures. When experience and observation have taught us love and charity, we are saved, and life is no longer terrible. Fate may be as cruel as she pleases ; but if we have warmth and love in our hearts, we shall never be alone, never in despair, and shall never think of self-destruction, if only out of pity for all our suffering brothers, whom, as long as we live, we have always the chance of helping.
My nun, which is how I think of her, was the most profound witness for God's love I've ever encountered in this world. She was a magnet for lost souls, a petite fortress of strength and unconditional love. What this sprightly, silly, lovely woman did from the obscurity of a faded convent in Rust Belt Chicago was to fulfill in a passionate, tireless way the supreme commandment of Jesus' gospel every day of her life.
But I had no patience with this convent chatter. I had felt the brush take life in my hand that afternoon; I had had my finger in the great, succulent pie of creation. I was a man of the Renaissance that evening- of Browning's renaissance. I, who had walked the streets of Rome in Genoa velvet and had seen the stars through Galileo's tube, spurned the friars, with their dusty tomes, and their sunken, jealous eyes and their crabbed hair-splitting speech.
It was a very aged, ghostly place; the church had been built many hundreds of years ago, and had once had a convent or monastery attached; for arches in ruins, remains of oriel windows, and fragments of blackened walls, were yet standing-, while other portions of the old building, which had crumbled away and fallen down, were mingled with the churchyard earth and overgrown with grass, as if they too claimed a burying-place and sought to mix their ashes with the dust of men.
A very special case. A few years more, and that pretty creature who you love too much, I think, will, without ever loving them, have known as many men as there are beads on her aunt's rosary. No happy medium! Either a nun or a monster! God's bosom or sensual passions! It would, perhaps, be better to put her in a convent, since we put hysterical women in the Saltpetriere! She does not know vice, she invents it!" That was ten years ago before the day our story begins and... Raoule was not a nun.
It is said that the Christian mystic Theresa of Avila found difficulty at first in reconciling the vastness of the life of the spirit with the mundane tasks of her Carmelite convent: the washing of pots, the sweeping of floors, the folding of laundry. At some point of grace, the mundane became for her a sort of prayer, a way she could experience her ever-present connection to the divine pattern which is the source of life. She began then to see the face of God in the folded sheets.
Rachel Naomi Remen
Blackened skeleton arms of wood by the wayside pointed upward to the convent, as if the ghosts of former travellers, overwhelmed by the snow, haunted the scene of their distress. Icicle-hung caves and cellars built for refuges from sudden storms, were like so many whispers of the perils of the place; never-resting wreaths and mazes of mist wandered about, hunted by a moaning wind; and snow, the besetting danger of the mountain, against which all its defences were taken, drifted sharply down.
I left the convent and that was because I wasn't a very good nun. I could see that I wasn't going to make it. It's very difficult to be a nun, or to live a religious life. It's very difficult to live a life of total celibacy or a life without any possessions or material responsibilities at all, or in total obedience to somebody else, and remain a mature whole human being, and I knew that I wasn't going to be one of those.
Soeur Marie Emelie" Soeur Marie Emelie is little and very old: her eyes are onyx, and her cheeks vermilion, her apron wide and kind and cobalt blue. She comforts generations and generations of children, who are "new" at the convent school. When they are eight, they are already up to her shoulder, they grow up and go into the world, she remains, forever, always incredibly old, but incredibly never older... She has an affinity with the hens, When a hen dies, she sits down on a bench and cries, she is the only grown-up, whose tears are not frightening tears. Children can weep without shame, at her side... Soeur Marie Emelie... her apron as wide and kind as skies on a summer day and as clean and blue.
It had seemed entirely sensible at the time. A simple way to test the truth of her claim that she had lain with de Villiers. To show her that lying to him was useless. To make a point. Instead, he had ignited a desire that burned him like none he had ever felt before. He had expected Lady Laurien d'Amboise to be a timid little convent mouse. Quiet and passive and pliant. Easily manageable. Instead she was outspoken and strong-willed... and stunning in a way he could not even describe. An innocent beauty caught up in a deadly game that was none of her making... Malcolm rose to leave, chuckling. "And what is there to laugh about?" Darach gave his jovial friend a dour look. Malcolm stopped just long enough to do his best imitation of Darach. "'Simple. Kidnap one French lass, hold her for a fortnight, and return her to de Villiers after he meets our demands. Perfectly simple.
He covered her mouth with his -and she felt as if she had suddenly been enveloped in a cascade of sparks. The tingling warmth from his touch did not compare to the sensations that whirled through her as his lips moved over hers. It was as if every part of her body had at once become brilliantly alive. His beard was a startling, silky roughness against her skin. His other hand came to rest at her waist, drawing her in tight, and her body seemed to meld to his hard, lean lines, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Her thoughts scattered. A sound escaped her, soft and deep, unlike any sound she had ever made in her life. Then his tongue touched her lower lip and she gave a startled little squeak. Her suddenly lifted his mouth from hers, his eyes midnight blue, his voice husky. "You have never even been kissed before, leannan. You are as innocent as the day you first set foot in the convent.
All their lovers' talk began with the phrase "After the war". After the war, when we're married, shall we live in Italy? There are nice places. My father thinks I wouldn't like it, but I would. As long as I'm with you. After the war, if we have a girl, can we call her Lemoni? After the war, if we've a son, we've got to call him Iannis. After the war, I'll speak to the children in Greek, and you can seak to them in Italian, and that way they'll grow bilingual. After the war, I'm going to write a concerto, and I'll dedicate it to you. After the war, I'm going to train to be a doctor, and I don't care if they don't let women in, I'm still going to do it. After the war I'll get a job in a convent, like Vivaldi, teaching music, and all the little girls will fall in love with me, and you'll be jealous. After the war, let's go to America, I've got relatives in Chicago. After the war we won't bring our children with any religion, they can make their own minds up when they're older. After the war, we'll get our own motorbike, and we'll go all over Europe, and you can give concerts in hotels, and that's how we'll live, and I'll start writing poems. After the war I'll get a mandola so that I can play viola music. After the war I'll love you, after the war, I'll love you, I'll love you forever, after the war.
Louis de Bernie¨res