“What are we going to do with you,” said the Mother Superior to the nun sadly.
Sister Genevieve schooled her features into a bland gaze and said nothing.
“We at St. Dominic’s pride ourselves on our devotion to God and a lifestyle of quiet contemplation. But in the three months you have been among us, Sister Genevieve – dear me, you have caused more chaos than the Devil himself could ever do.” The Mother Superior crossed herself. “What do you have to say for yourself, Sister?”
Sister Genevieve tried to look repentant. “It’s just that, Mother, I have such urges, that they take control of me.”
“I would think you possessed, yet I do not sense any wickedness in you. Truly I am baffled.” Mother Superior picked up a sheet of paper and sighed. “Only in the last week, you were found pleasuring yourself in the pantry, told the priest that he was filling out his cassock beautifully, and likened Sister Margarita’s breasts to two ripe melons. I cannot understand it. We must give up such desires of the flesh when we choose to devote ourselves to God.”
Privately the Mother Superior agreed that Sister Margarita’s breasts did indeed resemble two perfectly round and ripe melons, and the priest’s cassock did cling rather closely in this warm weather. But their duty was to suppress such feelings.
“Sister, you must learn to put these feelings aside. I can think of no other remedy but to beat them out of you.” She took down a cane from the wall and flexed it. “Bend over the desk.”
Ten strokes later, the irrepressible smile was still not far from Sister Genevieve’s face. The Mother Superior had the uncomfortable feeling that, far from chastising the young woman, she had merely given her more of what she wanted. It was incorrigible. She had dealt with many novices who had trouble accepting that they must give up fleshly desires, but never before had she encountered a nun who had only developed such manias after taking her vows. It was most puzzling. Sister Genevieve’s record had been exemplary until then.
“God has sent me this challenge, and I must confront it,” Mother Superior told herself.
She had an uncomfortable feeling that it would be the greatest challenge of her career.