Since beginning the “networking” process, whereby I attempt to hobnob with the rich and the famous in the hopes of procuring a job that will enable me to acquire the brownstone of my dreams, I have returned to a former realization. Instead of seeking temporary employment in a high powered industry, I can secure permanent placement in a religiously driven corporation.
Furthermore, in devoting myself to said corporation, all my marital woes would be over. Instead of spending endless hours searching for stray cats on the streets of New York, I could settle into a steady and lifelong relationship– with G-d, that is. Yes, the position to which I am referring is nun and the location is a convent yet to be determined.
Granted, I am Jewish and my closest connection to Catholicism was a trip I took to Rome at sixteen. And granted, said trip was a Jewish history tour of Rome, in which we sped past the Vatican in the pouring rain. Somehow, though, I believe that I could be both Jew and nun simultaneously. And, perhaps, if I am a particularly devout and silent nun, I might even be canonized into sainthood.
The woman, of course, who has inspired this trip down rosary bead lane is Edith Stein, a German-Jewish nun, now referred to as Saint Teresia Benedicta of the Cross. Yes, John Paul canonized her in 1998 (46 years after she passed away). Born into an Orthodox Jewish household, Stein joined the Catholic Church in her twenties. Legend, and by legend I mean devout Massachusetts Catholics, has it that Stein immediately began performing miracles– resuscitating those near death back to life.
Though Stein perished in the Holocaust (apparently Hitler was not very accepting of converts), she left behind an important legacy for young women contemplating the Divine Sisterhood. Only in her twenties, Stein forewent the possibility of marrying an eligible Jewish bachelor and pursuing a college degree in philosophy for the sake of G-d.
As a recent story on NPR indicates, this is no longer the norm. Fewer and fewer women are willing to make the “sacrifice,” and hence the average age of a nun in the United States has risen to 76. The thought of waving goodbye to all forms of modern technology– cell phones, laptops, iPods– is beyond any Millennial’s comprehension.
However, I would be willing to make all these sacrifices if the convent were willing to make one itsy-bitsy accommodation: Starbucks. I know the Catholic Church doesn’t make a habit of indulging materialism (well, not intentionally anyway), but I am requesting just this one capitalist form of compensation. Provide me with a daily latte, and I promise to pursue otherwise spiritual pursuits.
Or, perhaps, taking a cue from my favorite cinematic nun, I can start a Motown-esque choir and raise funds for underprivileged youth: