Sisters on Oprah – UPDATED

Just finished watching the Oprah Winfrey show featuring the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, and I thought it was really excellent. I missed the very beginning, so I don’t know if she did the Geisha feature, as well, but the segment with the sisters was really, very impressive. The sisters were well-spoken, intelligent, funny, good-natured and extremely forthright about their lives, and both Lisa Ling and Winfrey seemed to genuinely appreciate their comments on life, materialism, vows, sexuality, and so forth.

Really good show. Winfrey teased but was never disrespectful, and the whole discussion -from leaving parents, to leaving relationships, to giving up what is thought of as “normal,” was a healthy back-and-forth. Winfrey was so much better than I had anticipated, that I must admit to having been more cynical about this show than was probably healthy!

I particularly like the point one sister – I think it was Sr. Mary Judith – made, that religious life is a mirror of married life, and that breaking a vow is the same whether in religious or secular life; you’re ultimately hurting yourself, and cheating the fullness of the relationship and vow. I also like what she said about “reclaiming” her sexuality from an “oversaturated, sexualized world.” This reminded me, a little, of the truth of the Virgin Martyrs who -far from being weird prudes- were women who claimed themselves as being free people, not merely someone’s daughter to marry off for an increase in wealth or influence, who had chosen to live for Christ.

You can find much video of the episode here; there are snippets and a transcript here. The sisters managed to bring the spiritual into the every day and say such profound things in such a casual way that it would be worth watching again, to glean it all.

Congrats to the Sisters, and to Winfrey, too. I can’t wait to see how the Holy Spirit uses all of this!

UPDATE: Some aftershow musings about silence.

Related:
Speaking of excellent videos on the religious life, someone sent this to me – a half hour by our Passionist friends in Kentucky -and it is one of the best such videos I have ever seen.

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About Elizabeth Scalia