Thursday, July 23, 2009

Feeling Guilty... Perhaps?

I love books.
Plus, I have psychological problems.
Once, many many years ago, [before some of you were born] when I was having even worse psychological problems than I have on a regular basis nowadays, I checked myself in to a convent.
I needed some R & R.
Reassessment & Reconsideration.
Reconfiguring & Realignment.
Reflection & Reallyprayinghard.

It was place called _______, nestled away in the mountains of British Columbia.
[You will soon know why I leave the name... unnamed.]
The nuns there were so calm and.... nunnish! They were so nice to me, and it was so quiet there. The main room, where the Main Nun would have her talks with me, it had a massive plate-glass window looking directly upon a mountain in the distance. Like a painting.
We talked a lot. And I prayed a lot. I got some needed realignment done.

They had a little library.
At the time, I was a huge fan of the Hitlerian-era German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
I had read nearly all of his works, including his Letters & Papers From Prison, but had never really read a biography of the man. And so I started to do so, during my spiritual retreat.
When it was over, I was not finished this book, so I took it with me.
But I told no one. I think I had some vague idea that I would return the thing one day.
But on top of not doing so, I moved away.
I still have the book, and took this picture of it minutes ago.
My theology has changed a lot in the intervening years. But still, a question hovers over my head this evening. I'm wondering if some of my dear readers will assist me in assessing which of the following scenarios most closely reflects my current state of culpability:

A) You will surely go to hell for having essentially stolen this book, regardless of the fact that you initially felt you would return it one day.
B) Everything mentioned in (A) above, with a few more years even beyond eternity added, because it was a Nunnery Library!
C) There is no such thing as hell, but even so, you have really canceled out all hope of going to heaven.
D) You should return the book via mail, with an explanatory note. [The address is stamped at the front of the book.]
E) Everything in (D) with sincere repentance added.
F) "F" stands for "Forget about it."
G) "G" stands for "God will not forget about it."
H) You obviously should check yourself in to some other institution of Realignment! [And don't steal stuff this time!]

*********

8 comments:

Arukiyomi said...

your going to suffer far more for reading the book that's peeking out underneath believe me!

I'd love to answer some of your questions here but I honestly can't tell if you're serious. Surely you can believe that there are things of much much greater concern to God in your life than this book. Anyway, I'm guessing you already know that right?

Stefanie said...

Return the book with a note saying how much you appreciated your stay there and how much the book meant to you. The nuns, being nuns, have already forgiven you though they might like to have their book back :)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Go with Option I (follows H): Send it back anonymously, along with a copy of some Daniel Dennett or Sam Harris book for good measure.

Isabella said...

D, though I'm not sure about the note. Maybe I.

Incusblack said...

I'm a fan of E myself.

Merisi said...

Send it back already!
Enclose another book as a gift, I am sure you will find a suitable one. Or a gift certificate to a bookstore.

Wished I could return my old sins by mail. ;-)

And yes, you will go to heaven.

cipriano said...

All of these are such great ideas. The consensus seems to favor the returning of the book, although I believe Rhapsody actually answered the question most correctly.

That is too funny Arukiyomi, about the Ayn Rand book! You're right though, it is difficult [no, impossible, more like it] to know when I am being serious or goofy.
In this particular case I was being goofy.

Dorothy W. said...

I'd say since this has been on your mind for so long, it's definitely best to return it, although I don't think it's a big deal you took it in the first place (I mean, stealing isn't good, of course, but I don't get too uptight about things like that). I think a nice letter explaining what the convent meant to you and how it changed your life would be even more meaningful than the book.