Looking back, I could see that it was no surprise that my
meetings with Lady Helen actually gave me more of an
opportunity to engage in a true sense of spirituality.
Lady Helen had been widowed about a year before we
began seeing one another. She never mentioned much
about her husband. What I did learn from others, he was
more an out-doors-man. It was rumored that he planned to
join some crusaders and go to the Holy Land, but before
he could go he broke his leg falling off his horse. The
accident crippled him, kept him away from his natural
inclinations; and, thus, he grew bitter and grumpy. Lady
Helen endured, however, and other members of her family--
her children, and later her small grandchildren--made her
Perhaps her hard life with her late husband, or perhaps her
being suddenly free to become more herself, had prompted
Lady Helen to look more inwardly, to inquire, to lean more
towards a mature spirituality.
All I can say is that this good lady was a "boon" for me!
As a spiritual guide and teacher, I would make my priestly
pronouncements over which Lady Helen would put very
sharp questions. In my effort to answer, this good woman
forced me to think over what we were discussing.
We both were unafraid to be honest, which is an utterly
wonderful condition when it comes to a relationship.
In time we both had overcome what we called the
"artificialities" of the Church. What was meant here was
so-called man-made interpretations that evolved into
dogma and doctrine, that was more about Church Authority
than about Christ.
If my monks had been listening-in to our conversations, no
doubt they would have been shocked--since most had not
been able to rise above the piety level. The few scholar-monks
we had at Tewkesbury might not have taken issue, nor would
my friend--the Abbot of Gloucester Abbey--have been upset.
At the higher levels of the Benedictine Order, there were some
who were more spiritually open. These special monks had
moved into a near universal approach when it came to Christ,
the Lord of the Universe!
And here we two were, Lady Helen and me, sitting in our quiet
corner nearly like explorers. It was like we were reconnoitering
new spiritual milieux. And the Christ grew ever larger and larger
in our minds, offering us horizons that we could hardly imagine
just a few years back.
Oft laughing together, sometimes nearly uproariously, Lady Helen
and I were having *fun.*