I watched part of the Oprah show where she sent Lisa Ling inside a Dominican convent. I'd sworn off Oprah, but Margaret Cabaniss's post over at Inside Catholic and Brenda Steele's column at Catholic Advocate made me break my vow.
It went much better than I thought it would. Although I still think Oprah holds most genuine expressions of Christian faith in contempt (I've seen it too often to believe she's had a change of heart and it's one of the reasons I've sworn off her show), but she also seemed genuinely astonished at the peace and easy laughter of the Sisters of Mary. Too astonished to muster her usual responses.
I'll give her a "B" this time. Not an "A" because her reactions made it obvious she's never considered such things important enough to have even a passing familiarity with. And also because sex was such an overriding concern for Oprah - those poor women can never have sex! It was also interesting to note in the teaser blurbs that, "never have sex" and"never have children was separated by "never have a career" [as an aside, what does she think a vocation is?!]. She also seemed concerned, this woman with no children of her own body, that the sisters could never have children. I was so pleased to hear the sisters make the point that they *are* mothers, mothers of many spiritual children. That particularly touched my heart because I can never have children and a dear friend cautioned me some time ago, knowing that I couldn't have children of my own, to not die never having been a mother.
Lisa Ling, however, gets an "A-" for her reaction to the time she spent with them. I can only pray that something of the sisters' spirit will cause both she and Oprah to reconsider some of their past positions, such as their enthusiastic highlighting of the Indian womb rental business (which, by the way irritates me mightily because I can't believe I didn't blog on it, but if I did, I can't find it by any search term imaginable).
So, Zoe (for the rest of you, see my comments on the first link, to Margaret's blog post), I take back some of what I said about Oprah's contempt for genuine expressions of Christian faith.