AMEN ! ! A journey through the dark corridors of the Church awaits the readers of “Amen”.

In a confessional mode, the autobiography of Sr. Jesme recollects her 33 years at the Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC). Though her experiences force Sr. Jesme to leave the congregation (31 August 2008, the point at which the book begins), a staunch faith in Him pervades the entire book as well as her being. The pages reveal a daring attempt to expose the duplicity of the church. The autobiographical mode takes on the note of an honest confession, tearing off the mask from the face of the church—an eye opener to many still steeped in blind faith. It seems to say that (ironically, like any other religion) the Church has its veiled nooks. As an ‘insider’ Sr. Jesme throws open the hidden recesses. Not written with the intention of slander, the ‘I’ (as an helpless ‘victim’ Vs the ‘victimizers’) looms large and the work at certain points becomes a sort of self-justification (for leaving the congregation ??) as the authorities repeatedly attempt to have her declared insane. At times it does appear the words of a nun at loggerheads with the church. The experiences throw open the doors, of a Church filled with jealousy, hegemony, conspiracy, corruption, materialism (and not renunciation!), unbearable constraints which are inhuman, ‘repressed’ sexuality, sexual aberrations (of course, hushed up!), lesbianism, and lots more verging on blasphemy. Her decision to join the church, life as a novitiate, her passion for literature, cinema and teaching college students despite the trials and tribulations surrounding her are all recollected. The narrative begins at the ‘end’ with Sr. Jesme’s break with the church.

Thoughts flow one after another and fill the pages with her deep spiritual experience of God, the ecstasies of divine contact and feeling of Oneness with Him. Amen is surely a bold attempt at laying bear the decay that has set into the religious domain as well as a call for reformation.

Amen Sr. Jesme Penguin 2009

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