She made the sign of the cross, uncertain of who was looking. Not Jesus, she was grimly certain of that. Not the Father or the Holy Ghost either, the Trinity were either wholly blind, wholly indifferent or wholly non-existent when it came to her. An apathy she did her best to return. The Mother Superior however was all too real a force. Seemingly unperturbed by spiritual obligations she maintained an iron resolve when it came to the practical routines of the faith. It was easier by far to act out the niceties of divine service than to risk the repercussions of being caught out avoiding them. Proof absolute, as far as Maria was concerned, that faith was hollow. Heaven and all it’s host had shrugged indifferently at her newly found atheism, it was only flesh and blood mortals who might care enough to intervene. And even then only to intervene as far as hounding her into morning prayers rather than caring if she felt them. Blunt instruments for a supposedly transcendent Lord.
She had resolved not to leave in the instant she saw her faith depart though. The convent was her home and had been for the last decade. The symbols of her lost faith may have hung over the ancient arched doorways but the corridors and rooms within were entirely hers. A million footsteps and thousands of hours spent existing amidst the cold medieval stone of the place had flooded it with her self. God was an absentee landlord at best, collecting supposed dues from a remote distance. She on the other hand gave the place form, her and the others, they maintained and lent warmth to it all, making it more than just the antique ruin it would otherwise be. So why should she leave? Let the omnipotent depart if her lack of faith offended that much. She would gladly pack up the crucifixes and books, send them off to Rome where the masquerade of belief could play on to an audience of it’s own actors. Where it had been doing so for, she suspected, centuries now.
Militant thoughts but like her formerly professed faith they played out as an abstract only. Her breakaway from belief wasn’t an attack on it after all. She crossed herself, she mumbled her way through prayers, she lit candles and wore the benign expression of a committed believer. The practical demands of the place unchanged by her personal revelations. Her home unaffected by the lives others lived in it.
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