Week #2: Hating Eric

redeemed

“After decades of living on the edge, Heather King settled into sobriety, marriage, and a financially lucrative but unfulfilling career as an upwardly mobile lawyer.” Amazon calls her book, Redeemed, “An unforgettable, fervent, darkly funny tale of an ongoing, stumbling conversion.” Join us as we read, discuss, and share our thoughts about it in our Fall, 2016 Wisdom Seekers Book Club!

By Sister Mary Core, OSB

Welcome to Week #2 of our online Fall 2016 book club!

Using some of last week’s questions for our discussion points, we shared our reactions – some good, some not so good – to Chapter 1 of the book.

One question was based on King’s assertion that,  Underlying every other loathsome aspect of my job (as a lawyer) was the fact that I hated Eric with a black and festering hatred.

This struck many of us as odd on several levels. First, we really never understood why she “hated” him so much … or whether it was merited. (And, what might he have said about her?)

Second, she didn’t help us like her with that statement.

Finally, her extreme disillusionment with the Law seemed to reflect a level of immaturity.

Her alcoholism probably contributed to this sense we had of her immaturity. One member noted that professionals believe alcoholics remain at the emotional age they attain before becoming addicted.

Other members said this was King’s path of discovery; that she had pursued law even though it was not where her heart was. In her heart, she longed to write (and had longed to do so since age 6).

Another question that generated a lot of comments was about King’s effort to distinguish between religious and spiritual. Many members noted that spirituality is about relationship with God, while religion is about rules.

One said that as Americans, we can get caught up in the letter of the law.

Another said that Pope Francis has been a wonderful model for us, encouraging us to pursue the spirit – rather than the letter – of the law.

On Wed. Sept 28, we’ll discuss Chapters 2-5.

Questions to Consider for Wed. Sept. 28:

1. What did you think of King’s apology to Eric? Was it believable? Did she forgive him?

2. How were you affected by King’s assertion that “What I didn’t realize was that writing would create me.” If you substituted the word “creating” for “writing,” it could describe any creative process.

3. How were you affected by King’s experience of the Catholic Mass? What drew her to Catholicism? What draws you to your religion or belief system? Does she focus on suffering or redemption? What do you focus on?

4. Moving deeper into the subject of religion versus spirituality, what does each mean for her? For you?

5. In RCIA, King was received into the Church. She writes, “We (Jesus and I) had found each other.” How do you respond to that? Had Jesus really not found her before?

6. King’s views on marriage, premarital sex, abortion and other issues are much different after her conversion than before. What do you think about her assertions?

7. King references our call to “hypothesis.” What does she (and Carl Jung) mean?

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