Camilla is or was a real nun. I am simply quoting this article written by Walter Lanyon because it is wonderful. The completeness and simplicity of her faith is truly a testimony. May we all come to know Him as He is. Camilla comes from a book called A Royal Diadem by Walter Lanyon, here it is.
CAMILLA is not a story book character, she is not a creature manufactured to suit the issue, she is a real, live woman – – a nun, living in an old grey stone convent which is situated on a beautiful mountain which overlooks the winding Moselle River.
We met her one morning coming from the little chapel where she had been at prayer. It was a clear morning with a high blue sky, the faint perfume of wild mountain flowers and vegetation was in the air – – the year was at spring. As she stepped out into the open she seemed to fit perfectly with the setting, as if she were the personification of youth eternal. As she passed us she did not shyly cast her eyes to the ground, but looked up at us with wide blue eyes – – eyes full of lovely fearlessness, eyes full of depth and wonder; eyes of youth with the wisdom of the ages shining through them. This woman had youth in her grasp – – clear, firm, white skin with a transparency to it; lips red and full of expression – – youth was so evident that it made itself felt.
“Not a minute over eighteen,” said one of us. But Camilla was a woman who would soon count her years sixty. Later in the day I talked with her, and here is how she did it.
“At twenty I found myself practically an old woman, both in mind and body. I was weary and life was more or less of a burden to me, and it was at this time I became a nun. Soon after I began to study the ‘Word’ it came to me that I had never really lived, that the sense of fleeting youth which I had was nothing but a shadow – – a shadow of the real youth which was eternal and everlasting. I soon realized that God could not grow old, not in the sense of decay; that nature never grew old – – she renewed herself annually – – and gradually I came to know that if God could not grow old, that Man – – His idea and image and likeness – – could not age.
“In seeking the Kingdom of Heaven first, we are told that all things shall be added to us. In seeking the Kingdom of Heaven we are seeking youth, joy, harmony, happiness. The Kingdom is not made up of aged persons, it is vibrant with youth eternal; and finally I began to realize that I was a part of the Kingdom of Heaven and that in reality I was only seeking my true self.
“‘Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you; ask and ye shall receive,’ so I went forth seeking the real life. As God was everywhere present I found Him expressed in all nature. I found Him expressed in His universe – – and I was of His universe, in fact I was a part of it – – not apart from it. Just like the lovely force which impelled the rose to cover her vines with snowy white blossoms, I found that power growing and growing in me, swelling up in me, until one day I felt the complete thrill – – the ‘Divine spark’ – – which awakened in me and made me feel this rejuvenation taking place. God is everywhere and He is life eternal and youth eternal. If He is eternal youth and is everywhere I could literally bathe in youth. Not only that, but I felt I was a part of the whole scheme and drew my life, my vitality, my youth, from the same source which impelled the whole plan. Yonder on the mountain the grey mist hovered and swayed over the crest, the sun plunged through it and then the blue patch showed in the distance. The heather on the foothills was like a flash of purple, the white hawthorn tree glistened in the warm sun, and I a part of it all, vibrated with youth eternal.”
“I learned to love it all – – love the whole plan like one loves the members of his own household – – nothing was unlovely when viewed rightly and everything yielded to the touch of it gentleness – – the touch of love. If it rained I went about my duties with a feeling that everything was being purified – – that everything was being filled full of purity – – and I too drank deeply of purity. If the sun poured down upon me, I felt it making a halo about me of pure gold – – gold that would endure. I felt it sifted joy all about me and filled the throats of the birds with glorious notes, and so I sang and thrilled for life. If the wind blew and raged about, I was happy yet in the thought that things were being changed about. This was a readjustment; old dead leaves were caught up and carried off – – dust was moved from secluded corners – – readjustment was taking place – – and so I felt the readjustment enter me – – the power to say, ‘Not mine – – but thine be done.’ In winter when the snow fell I knew that everything in this universe was busily engaged working and studying, unfolding and getting ready for greater growth.
And so I learned from the weather that after all it was but for a lesson to us – – that we should rejoice regardless what the manifestation was. Further I began to realize that not only was I seeking youth, happiness, harmony, but that I was youth, happiness, harmony.”
Just then a band of happy youngsters came running up the hill and caught Camilla in their arms – – grabbing onto her long black skirts – – youth had sought youth and found it and bore her off down into the flower – – dotted valley. Camilla was sixty – – the world called her sixteen.