Friday, May 04, 2007

Ivy covered people in ivory colored towers

Ivy covered people in ivory colored towers

It happens now and then. Mother Superior, who normally drops me off at the train station turns to me and says, “How much leave time do you have?” It has happened so often that it becomes a programmed response – like Pavlov’s dogs. Automatically I reply, “Why?” But I always know why. A trip is planned and I am being left to mind the store (or the convent in this case) or brought along. Mind you, it is never a happy little trip. At least not so far. The destination is usually the same place – an ivory colored tower.

So there I sat this last weekend, once again, in an ivory tower. The ivory tower, in this case, being a four story mansion located in an urban area in a southern state. (Nebulous enough not to name the person but enough to get the point across). The situation has presented itself so often that it is just tiring to write about it – and depressing. Sadder still is that the situation is all to common. The Ivory tower is surrounded by high walls and wrought iron gates. Going through them, as they open ever so slowly by remote control – obviously meant to impress – it impresses me with nothing more than the thought that I am entering a prison yard some where. And a prison it is. The ivy covered man sits alone in his majestic ivory tower. Disconnected from what makes life truly worthwhile – a family, love and God.

But the prison is not made entirely of brick walls. The prison is also made of emotional barriers as well. Does the ivy covered man ever smile and laugh? Certainly – to impress clients for the most part. But the emotional wall is high and wide. When the real ivy covered man comes out, when no clients are around, when there are no acquaintances to impress – the real ivy covered man never cracks a smile. He never laughs. Like the sound of his voice, his emotions are steady, even and monotonous at best. At worst the ivy covered man is busy being very angry and, in his own mind, very, very right – always right.

What is important to the ivy covered man, as he sits alone in his wonderful impressive ivory prison is amazing. Love? No. Not love. Love is not important to this man. Not love of family and not love of God. On this trip I went to a ceremony where 95 young adults devoted their lives to God. True, many may have done so because there parents expected it. But some did so because they loved God – if you shut your eyes and prayed you could feel the joy of the Holy Spirit fill the church to the very rafters. But the ivy covered man, who sat next to me did not feel it. He was very obviously bored. As the Holy Spirit came and filled those who love Him with joy, the ivy covered man was visibly bored and wanted only for the ceremony to be over.

You will meet this ivy covered man in many places. What is important to the ivy covered man? Money – the more the better. I have met such ivy covered men more than once. For years I would watch my father count out the grocery money to my mother – single dollar bill at a time – carefully tugging at each one to make sure two had not stuck together. It was important for that particular ivy covered man to make sure mom did not get more than her allotted share. All the same mom was loving and patient. She took the pittance and stretched it. She fed a family and held it together. She even managed to buy that family presents and occasionally treat herself. That in itself was not just a testament to a remarkable woman, but a small miracle in itself (thank you Papa le bon Dieu).

How do I recognize the ivory tower so well? I once occupied it myself. The God, my dear Papa le bon Dieu, pulled me out of the tower, and pulled the walls down around me. What did I find in the ruins of that tower? Well my friends, I found God.

2 comments:

murlidhar said...

Whatever Sr.Julie has written on April26,2007 is confirmed in a Book titled "PIUS XII and the Third Reich- A Documentation by Saul Friedlander" published in 1966 by Chatto & Windus Ltd; London W.C.2 This Book was originally published in French under the title,"Pie XII et le III Reich,Documents" in 1964.

murlidhar said...

Whatever Sr.Julie has written on April 26,2007 is confirmed in a Book titled "PIUS XII and the Third Reich - A Documentation by Saul Friedlander" published in 1966 by Chatto & Windus Ltd; London W.C.2. This Book was originally published in French under the title,"Pie XII et le IIIReich, Documents" in 1964.