Monday, February 27, 2012
Change of Habit
I believe my confusion lies somewhere in the dusty scripts of Hollywood and nuns.
Just the other day, I chanced upon the opening hour of Sister Audrey Hepburn in "A Nun's Story". That is one upsetting movie. Sister Hepburn has a humility problem that plagues her throughout the film and eventually causes her to stroll out the door in a very smart Chanel suit. (Forgive me if you haven't seen the film and I just ruined the ending for you. I believe I've saved you a couple of hours that could better be used saying rosaries.) She is a very smart young lady whose deepest desire is to be a missionary and a nurse. Some sort of fancy nurse, I believe. A surgical nurse, perhaps. She has the chops to do this, but Mother Superior is constantly on Sister Audrey's case about her lack of humility.
Keep in mind, that this is not ordinary humility, but nun humility. This is the kind of humility that causes a novice to confess that she paused before acting when asked to dry the dishes because she thought maybe she should help wash them or that she sighed once when she saw the breakfast oatmeal was looking even more dry than usual.
So Sister Audrey is about to ace her nurse test that will land her in the Congo when Mother Superior calls her into the office and asks if she would be willing to prove her humility and obedience by blowing the test so that Audrey's nun nursing school rival can move ahead and be sent to the mission.
I didn't watch past that to see what Sister Hepburn decided to do. I have seen the film before and I know she somehow ends up in the Congo, still a nun. I was just so aggravated at such a ridiculous request. I understand that the Mother Superior wanted Sister Hepburn to have to do something huge to prove her metal. But what about the poor people in the Congo? Don't they deserve to have the actual best candidate for the job? The people of the Congo hospital weep.
As do I. It made Mother Superior look like a crazy person who is more interested in rules than in what the rules are for. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Humility. Lent. The Red Carpet. Hollywood just cannot get nuns right. Poor Sister Dolores is faced with the dilemma of the best publicity her message can ever get vs. that the publicity occurs on a Sunday in Lent. I suppose she made the right choice. If she hadn't, none of us would have ever heard of her film. Maybe her Superior ordered her to go.
I'm sure she skipped the Vanity Fair after party.