The Sister

Young Nun, by Makovsky.
Young Nun, by Konstantin Makovsky.

Day Four… it’s a little easier today. It’s easier when I devote my time to prayer and my thoughts to the Lord, and to Our Lady.

Last night I met the most adorable nun. I knew, the whole time I listened to her speak and was afterward speaking with her, that I shouldn’t be crushing on a nun — but I was. For the rest of the night, my heart ached for her, and I couldn’t push her from my thoughts — the whole time knowing how foolish I was being. My mind wandered off into a fantasy of Abelard and Heloïse — late in their lives, that is: of having a loving, godly, but chaste relationship with someone like that, writing tender letters between our distant monasteries, both of us steadfast in our consecration to the Lord.

It wasn’t much of a sexual crush — my crushes on “real” women seldom are — but a longing for intimacy, to be close to someone and know someone so precious and genuine and godly as she. To truly have a sister in the Lord. To have what she has and be what she is — to devote myself to chastity; to espouse myself to the Lord, and to love Him above all other things.

Heloise and Abelard
Funerary monument of Heloise and Abelard, Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris

I am so broken. All my life, I’ve dealt with such passionate crushes like this that have sprung up in but a moment, almost always on women whom I view as good or virtuous or ideal, and never to become anything but a heartache. Pornography has divorced love from sex in my mind completely: I can no more envision true love with a sexual partner than I can envision sex with someone I love. My few sexual experiences, inflated so fantastically with pornographic expectations, were mechanical and robotic and emotionless and miserable. All I ever wanted — from my childhood, up to the crying child inside today — was intimacy; connection; love. I have ruined myself with regard to the gift of sexuality. Only a miracle of God could heal me if marriage is ever to be my vocation. At the same time, if a life of celibacy or religious service is to be my vocation, only a miracle could break these chains of sin that have kept me enslaved for so long.


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