How to Love In this House of Brede

10 09 2017

I recently came across a book where someone was saying that his spiritual life improved dramatically after watching a movie made in 1975 called, “In This House of Brede

In the movie, a successful London business woman leaves everything to become a Nun. Philippa Talbot, played by pretty slender Diana Rigg, was a divorcee and a widow who left her comfortable life among the London elite to join a cloistered Benedictine community of contemplative nuns called, “Brede.”

As she staggered through the convent gates after stopping over at local bar for three glasses of martini and her last cigarettes, little did she know into what she was getting.

Life in the convent was austere and bereft of all the types of comfort she was used to, yet, she did very well, rising quickly to be a favorite of Lady Abbes, understandably, due to her great experiences in life and knowledge.

Like a true business woman, she knew how to navigate through political factions and adversaries. Yet her vocation almost unraveled when a younger girl (Judy Bowker) joined the community and for some silly reasons began seeking her attention and successful seduces Philippa. The beginning of this personal friendship (nothing sexual mind you) with this naughty nun was the beginning of great unhappiness for poor Sister Philippa.

She quickly found that her love for God was gradually replaced by attachment to this girl, and a great struggle ensued to regain her heart completely for God.

She tried cutting of all contact with the young nun but quickly changed tactics when she learned from Lady Abbess that the young nun, was about to abandon her vocation and flee the convent. Philippa raced to find her pleading,” Please stay, and even if we break all the convent rules.”

“Did you not know that I knew we are doing wrong?” asked the young nun.

“But we must learn to care less for each other by caring more for others.”

“Can we?” asked Philippa.

“We can try,” replied the young nun.

That must have been the breath of the Holy Spirit speaking through her lips for that was what saved their vocation. By serving others and doing menial tasks that no one else wanted to do in the convent, and most important, loving the other nuns, the two love birds managed to regain control of their unbridled passion for each other and turn their heart back to God. The movie ends with Sister Philippa accepting the call to lead a new Benedictine foundation in Japan, where she spent part of her childhood.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

The Editor




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