This meant that I would share all things in common with my community for the sake of the common good. Poverty is material and spiritual; I remember daily that all things in my life are gifts from which I am called to be detached. My vow of poverty is a radical choice to keep God and community first in my life. Although I am able to shop, I do not spend my own money. An approved and monitored budget influences me and prevents me from splurging on things I once enjoyed: no more extra kitchen tools or nail polish.
My choices are limited by the structures of sharing, helping me to be mindful of my sisters with greater needs, as well as the homeless mothers we serve.
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Technically nothing I buy or use is my own; I must use all things in a way that leaves me unattached and free to pass them onward when needed. Even if my community has made a certain car, for example, my responsibility, I know it could be reassigned for another purpose at any time. This reality reminds me that I am made to be interdependent; God and community provide for my needs and I am called to contribute to our mission. Honestly, I experience a lot of freedom from sharing property. Like the vow of poverty, this vow has me living in a particular way—as an unmarried woman—so I can love and serve beyond attachments and possessions.
In many ways, it makes absolutely no sense that I would renounce something as good as marriage and motherhood. Just as the prophets of the Bible did strange things to make a point—like eating scrolls Ezek.
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Some people are particularly called to this vow in order to make a point, or to point to God. Through my consecrated chastity, I also direct my sexuality—the holy life-giving potential that God gave us all—toward something beyond the nearest horizon. Through this vow my body is consecrated to God; I live to point out another vision for the world wherein every human life is honored as sacred. Through this vow, I cannot become complacent to the disorder of sexuality that the common culture promotes. Namely, I reject any notion that love is strictly about possession, genital expression, or power; I oppose sexual abuse, pornography, sex trafficking, and other violations of human dignity.
With my body vowed to God, I live to point out another vision for the world wherein every human life is honored as sacred. I will be the first to admit that giving up marriage, sex, and children is definitely easier said than done. Just a few interactions with an adorable man can cause me to develop a crush and force me to carefully establish boundaries. Plus, I am at the point in life wherein I crave daily interactions with children; I want to care for them, to help foster their growth. I have found ways to feed this need by being involved in the lives of young people whom I love, particularly my niece and nephew.
I said yes to growing in humility, so I could submit my selfishness for the sake of the common good. Taking the vow of obedience terrified me the most. I am a very free-spirited person and I was afraid that my personality would be squashed or I would have to give up my dreams and desires. The sisters were eager to receive my talents and gifts and have encouraged me to grow in ways beyond my imagination.
I am a woman made up of hopes and dreams. I want to see the world, I want to experience adventure, I want, I want, I want. Confronted by my selfishness and stubbornness, the vows help me to abandon living for only me, me, me. Once, I was asked to give up a ministry I enjoyed so I could deepen my community relationships. I resisted and struggled, but I obeyed—because that was my vow.
This seeming surrender ended up opening pathways to greater health and happiness.
The vow of obedience has set me free. A vowed religious is zealous for the reign of God. At this dismal intelligence, Frankenstein flies to Geneva, and impelled by fraternal affection, visits the spot where this horrid accident had happened. In the midst of a thunder-storm, with which the evening had closed, and just as he had attained the fatal spot on which Victor[sic] had been murdered, a flash of lightning displays to him the hideous demon to which he had given life, gliding towards a neighbouring precipice.
Another flash shews him hanging among the cliffs, up which he scrambles with far more mortal agility, and is seen no more. The inference, that this being was the murderer of his brother, flashed on Frankenstein's mind as irresistibly as the lightning itself, and he was tempted to consider the creature whom he had cast among mankind to work, it would seem, acts of horror and depravity, nearly in the light of his own vampire let loose from the grave, and destined to destroy all that was dear to him.
Frankenstein was right in his apprehensions. Justine, the maid to whom the youthful Victor had been intrusted, is found to be in possession of the golden trinket which had been taken from the child's person; and, by a variety of combining circumstances of combined evidence, she is concluded to be the murtheress, and as such condemned to death, and executed. It does not appear that Frankenstein attempted to avert her fate, by communicating his horrible secret; but, indeed, who would have given him credit, or in what manner could he have supported his tale?
Weekly Writing Prompt: The Vow of the Peacock | Writer's Digest
In a solitary expedition to the top of Mount Aveyron, undertaken to dispel the melancholy which clouded his mind, Frankenstein unexpectedly meets with the monster he had animated, who compels him to a conference and a parley. The material demon gives an account, at great length, of his history since his animation, of the mode in which he acquired various points of knowledge, and of the disasters which befell him, when, full of benevolence and philanthropy, he endeavoured to introduce himself into human society.
The most material part of his education was acquired in a ruinous pig-stye—a Lyceum which this strange student occupied, he assures us, for a good many months undiscovered, and in constant observance of the motions of an amiable family, from imitating whom he learns the use of language, and other accomplishments, much more successfully than Caliban, though the latter had a conjuror to his tutor. This detail is not only highly improbable, but it is injudicious, as its unnecessary minuteness tends rather too much to familiarize us with the being whom it regards, and who loses, by this lengthy oration, some part of the mysterious sublimity annexed to his first appearance.
The result is, this monster, who was at first, according to his own account, but a harmless monster, becomes ferocious and malignant, in consequence of finding all his approaches to human society repelled with injurious violence and offensive marks of disgust.
Some papers concealed in his dress acquainted him with the circumstances and person to whom he owed his origin; and the hate which he felt towards the whole human race was now concentrated in resentment against Frankenstein. In this humour he murdered the child, and disposed the picture so as to induce a belief of Justine's guilt.
The last is an inartificial circumstance: this indirect mode of mischief was not likely to occur to the being the narrative presents to us. The conclusion of this strange narrative is a peremptory demand on the part of the demon, as he is usually termed, that Frankenstein should renew his fearful experiment, and create for him an helpmate hideous as himself, who should have no pretense for shunning his society. On this condition he promises to withdraw to some distant desert, and shun the human race for ever.
If his creator shall refuse him this consolation, he vows the prosecution of the most frightful vengeance. Frankenstein, after a long pause of reflection, imagines he sees that the justice due to the miserable being, as well as to mankind, who might be exposed to so much misery, from the power and evil dispositions of a creature who could climb perpendicular cliffs and exist among glaciers, demanded that he should comply with the request; and granted his promise accordingly. Frankenstein retreats to one of the distant islands of the Orcades, that in secrecy and solitude he might resume his detestable and ill-omened labours, which now were doubly hideous, since he was deprived of the enthusiasm with which he formerly prosecuted them.
As he is sitting one night in his laboratory, and recollecting the consequences of his first essay in the Promethean art, he beings to hesitate concerning the right he had to form another being as malignant and bloodthirsty as that he had unfortunately already animated. It is evident that he would thereby give the demon the means of propagating a hideous race, superior to mankind in strength and hardihood, who might render the very existence of the present human race a condition precarious and full of terror.
Just as these reflections lead him to the conclusion that his promise was criminal, and ought not to be kept, he looks up, and sees, by the light of the moon, the demon at the casement. Yes, he had followed me in my travels; he had loitered in forests, hid himself in caves, or taken refuge in wide and desert heaths; and he now came to mark my progress, and claim the fulfillment of my promise. I thought with a sensation of madness on my promise of creating another like to him, and, trembling with passion, tore to pieces the thing on which I was engaged.
The wretch saw me destroy the creature on whose future existence he depended for happiness, and, with a howl of devilish despair and revenge, withdrew. Exhausted by his sufferings, but still breathing vengeance against the being which was at once his creature and his persecutor, this unhappy victim to physiological discovery expires just as the clearing away of the ice permits Captain Walton's vessel to hoist sail for the return to Britain. At midnight, the daemon, who had been his destroyer, is discovered in the cabin, lamenting over the corpse of the person who gave him being.
To Walton he attempts to justify his resentment towards the human race, while, at the same time, he acknowledges himself a wretch who had murdered the lovely and the helpless, and pursued to irremediably ruin his creator, the select specimen of all that was worthy of love and admiration.
My work is nearly complete. Neither yours nor any man's death is needed to consummate the series of my being, and accomplish that which must be done; but it requires my own. Do not think that I shall be slow to perform this sacrifice. I shall quit your vessel on the ice-raft which brought me hither, and shall seek the most northern extremity of the globe; I shall collect my funeral pile and consume to ashes this miserable frame, that its remains may afford no light to any curious and unhallowed wretch, who would create such another as I have been.
He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness and distance. So concludes this extraordinary tale, in which the author seems to us to disclose uncommon powers of poetic imagination. The feeling with which we perused the unexpected and fearful, yet, allowing the possibility of the event, very natural conclusion of Frankenstein's experiment, shook a little even our firm nerves; although such and so numerous have been the expedients for exciting terror employed by the romantic writers of the age, that the reader may adopt Macbeth's words with a slight alteration: "We have supp'd full with horrors: Direness, familiar to our "callous" thoughts, Cannot once startle us.
The ideas of the author are always clearly as well as forcibly expressed; and his descriptions of landscape have in them the choice requisites of truth, freshness, precision, and beauty. The self-education of the monster, considering the slender opportunities of acquiring knowledge that he possessed, we have already noticed as improbable and overstrained. That he should have not only learned to speak, but to read, and, for aught we know, to write—that he should have become acquainted with Werter, with Plutarch's Lives, and with Paradise Lost, by listening through a hole in a wall, seems as unlikely as that he should have acquired, in the same way, the problems of Euclid, or the art of book-keeping by single and double entry.
The author has however two apologies—the first, the necessity that his monster should acquire those endowments, and the other, that his neighbours were engaged in teaching the language of the country to a young foreigner.
His progress in self-knowledge, and the acquisition of information, is, after all, more wonderful than that of Hai Eben Yokhdan, or Automathes, or the hero of the little romance called The Child of Nature, one of which works might perhaps suggest the train of ideas followed by the author of Frankenstein. We should also be disposed, in support of the principles with which we set out, to question whether the monster, how tall, agile, and strong however, could have perpetrated so much mischief undiscovered, or passed through so many countries without being secured, either on account of his crimes, or for the benefit of some such speculator as Mr Polito, who would have been happy to have added to his museum so curious a specimen of natural history.
But as we have consented to admit the leading incident of the work, perhaps some of our readers may be of opinion, that to stickle upon lesser improbabilities, is to incur the censure bestowed by the Scottish proverb on those who start at straws after swallowing windlings.
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The following lines, which occur in the second volume, mark, we think, that the author possesses the same facility in expressing himself in verse as in prose. We rest; a dream has power to poison sleep. We rise; one wand'ring thought pollutes the day. We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh, or weep, Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away; It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow, The path of its departure still is free.
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow; Nought may endure but mutability! Skip to main content.