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I recently read Karen Armstrong's book entitled The Spiral Staircase. It's the account of how and why she joined an order of Catholic nuns when she was seventeen, and her experiences in the convent life, and of how she left the order several years later. The memoir continues through her years at Oxford, and her scholastic endeavors in academia. This account of an intelligent woman's spiritual journey as she abandons the cloistered life for a secular one provides the reader who cares about faith with some insights into the thoughts and emotions of a woman who examines her life bravely. It made me think of a saying generally attributed to Socrates--"The unexamined life is not worth living."
In her study of 'faiths' around the world, Ms. Armstrong finds a near-universal value is compassion, and works to promote its increase in our world. The current Pope, according to news articles about him, sounds 'ecumenical'. I'm going to read further into Karen Armstrong's writings and follow the news from the Vatican, in the days ahead.