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A good point: leaving seminary or the convent is no "failure"


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A bit sappy, but it makes a good point. ;) 

What struck me so much wasn't the failures as the fact that God had a plan for them all along, and they were so taken with religious life that they couldn't see His will for them. It's clear that Zelie at least considered marriage a "second-best" vocation, but obviously it was the best possible thing she could have done, as history attests. I often find that our tendency to place religious life on a pedestal tends to lead young women (and men, I'm sure) into stubbornly pursuing something God does not intend for them.

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Back then, the possibility of a single life for a woman was much, much more restricted than it is now.  Almost inevitably, the single woman wound up as a live-in companion of an older, often widowed woman, or as the "poor relative" with her family.  Adult women married, period, or entered either service or became nannies [depending on social status] or went into religious life.  Those few who carved out careers for themselves were not only unusual, they had to have considerable independent means.

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