Buchnummer des Verkäufers
A beautiful and haunting story of forbidden love, Consolations portrays a woman’s lifelong struggle to reconcile her all-too-human feelings with her quest for the highest spiritual life. It is 1951 and young Fiona Ingram is full of the fervor of a new convert. Following in the footsteps of her inspiration, Thomas Merton, she abandons a promising academic career and enters Epiphany Monastery, ablaze with the certainty that a life dedicated to seeking God alone is the great adventure—and that it is meant for her. What she finds there is not what she expects: Reverend Nathan Woods, a Jesuit and professor of theology who comes to give the annual retreat. When their forbidden affair ends abruptly, Fiona, now Sister Bridget, suffers a split in her soul. Under the guidance of the compassionate abbess, she tries to “reclaim her heart” and her lost fervor. She conforms outwardly as she rises in positions of authority and responsibility in the order, yet she continues to struggle to understand and resolve her relationship with Nathan—all the while carrying on a secret correspondence with him, until she is forced—in a final encounter and spiritual crisis—to dive deep into the still point of her soul and discover the truth.
From the Author:
HOW I CAME TO WRITE CONSOLATIONS
As is often the case with fiction, my story is not Fiona's story; and yet it is.
I wanted to be a cloistered nun when I was fifteen. I formally applied after high school and received a letter from the Mother General saying that I needed to experience the world for at least a year, go to college, get a job, and make my request again. I never did.
Thirty years later, inspired by Thomas Merton's writings, the old longing awakened. I left the hi-tech world of Silicon Valley where I was enjoying "success" and a promise of more, and entered a Cistercian monastery at age 46.
I gave away my houseful of stuff and said what I thought was a permanent good bye to friends and family, including my 19-year old son. I was going to live a silent life of prayer, study and manual labor in a medieval monastic tradition that had flourished in the 11th and 12th centuries.
I believed in the life of the Spirit. That such a life was going to lift me up above human suffering, pain, loss, sadness, and disappointment. I believed in Merton's stillpoint--the place in my soul where I was one with God. And I was going to find it.
I entered in the fall of 1995 and left a few months later. It took me years to understand what had happened. This understanding dawned slowly during the time I wrote the novel Consolations. My hope is that my story engages and touches you. Please let me know if it does.
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