Last weekend, I traveled to my old hometown for my sister’s wedding. My parent’s house was filled with our grown family and kids, so my wife and kids and I were put up at a nearby college run by an order of nuns. We stayed in the college president’s house, which doubled as a guesthouse. We met her at the wedding and got to thank her personally for the accommodation, a very nice — and modern-looking — nun.
At her house I looked through her CD collection in the living room. There was the usual assortment of CDs you would expect to find in a nun’s collection (Hildegarde of Bingen, Charlotte Church), but there was also Circle of Women. Hmm. This CD was full of Goddess songs, Wiccan songs, pagan songs. I put it on and had a listen. I liked the energy of the “Heya Heya Heya Ho” chorus chanted in “Mother I Feel You.”
One of the pamphlets from the campus press laid out in the bedroom detailed the course offerings from the Sophia Center on campus, which provides courses to the public. The first page in the introduction pays lip service to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but that is the last hint of anything Christian in this assortment of New Age teachings. Crystals, Reiki, shamanism, mandalas, chakras, past life regressions, Toltec teachings, feng shui, drumming circles, invoking the Sacred Feminine, reclaiming the ancient power of our moon courses— why didn’t they have anything like this when I was growing up? I really hadn’t paid much attention to the Catholic Church since I got out of high school in the 1970s. I missed when it went New Age. Cool.