01. May 2013 · Comments Off on Upon the River · Categories: N. Grail School Year

The Grail has a small property about five miles away.  It is called Superflumina.   That is Latin for upon the river.   I don’t see any river.  They may be referring to the rivers we sing about in the psalms.

Two small houses and a barn are perched on a narrow piece of land right off the highway.

It is apparently what is left of a steep hill when they built the highway.  There is nothing on the other side.  I can see something of the town in the distance, but to reach the road at the bottom of the hill I would have to go down a long flight of steps.

One of the older Grail leaders from Holland is visiting, and a few of us are invited here to meet with her.

She seems warm and friendly and tells me how well she thinks I have adjusted to life at Grailville.  Then she asks if I know that the Grail has a nucleus of dedicated women.  Yes, that has been explained.

We make vows, she said, not formal ones to the church, as nuns do.  We want to be free to make our own rules.

What vows?

Chastity, poverty and obedience.

They make the same vows that nuns make.  Yet they are not nuns.  They don’t take orders from priests.  Why is she telling me this?

You are a pretty girl.  I must ask you if you are still a virgin.

What?  Yes, I am.   Why is she asking?  Oh no!

I say that I have never wanted to be a nun.  I don’t want to make any kind of vows except marriage vows, someday.  I am not suited for this life.  I have no vocation.

I’ve said everything that I would say without giving offense.   It is not necessary to say that I don’t agree with many of the things they teach.  I would not do to others the things that they do.

You are wrong, she says.  God has called you to be a member of our nucleus and dedicate your life to Him.  It is obvious.

I cannot believe it.  She goes on as though I know nothing about myself and she has a direct line to God.

Finally, I say you promised my family that after a year here you would arrange for me to go to a college.

She smiles that cryptic smile that is beginning to infuriate me.

You are remaining at Grailville for the time being.  You are still very young.

I will turn seventeen in August, old enough for college in the fall.

No, I say, I can’t stay.  I don’t belong here.

Her eyes harden.  You are refusing the grace of God.  In time, and with prayer and meditation, you will come to realize that.

With that, and the smile, she dismisses me.

This can’t be happening.

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