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First of all I always
want to tell folks that I am not giving this testimony because I have any ill
feeling in my heart toward the Roman Catholic people. I couldn't be a Christian
if I still had bitterness in my heart. God delivered me from all bitterness and
strife one day and made Himself real to me in the power of the Holy Spirit. And
so, when I give this testimony, I'm giving it because after God saved me, He
delivered me out of the convent and out of bondage and darkness, the Lord laid a
burden upon my heart to give this testimony that others might know what plight
the convents are. And so as you listen carefully this afternoon, I trust that
I'll not say one thing that will leave any feeling in your heart whatsoever that
I don't carry a burden for the Roman Catholic people. I don't like the things
they do. I don't agree with the things they teach, but I covet their souls for
Jesus. I'm interested in their souls. I believe that when Jesus went to
Calvary, He died that you and I might know Him. And therefore they're just as
precious as your soul and my soul. So I'm interested.
DESIRE TO WORK FOR GOD
First of all, as we get into this testimony, having been born into Roman Catholicism, I didn't know anything else, not knowing the Word of God, because we didn't have the Bible in our home. We had never heard anything about this wonderful plan of salvation. And so, naturally, I grew up in that Roman Catholic home as a child knowing only the catechism, knowing only the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. And because I loved the Lord, and because I wanted to do something for Him--I wanted to give Him my life--I didn't know of any other way for a Roman Catholic girl to give her life to God other than by entering a convent.
After going to the confessional box there, naturally I'm under the influence of my Father confessor, the Roman Catholic priest--his influence over my life--one day I made up my mind, through his influence (and one of my teachers in the parochial school) that I wanted to be a little sister. At that time I thought of being a sister of the Open Order. But as I went on into this up until the time I took my White Veil at sixteen and a half years of age, everything was beautiful. I really didn't have any fear in my heart whatsoever. Everything that was taught to me was similar to along the lines of what I had been taught in the Church before I had entered the convent.
And so one day, after making up my mind to enter a convent--I remember that particular day--two of the sisters came home with me from school. They were my teachers. And when we arrived at my father's home that afternoon, our Father confessor was in the home likewise. I often say, when I was a little girl, children were seen and not heard. You didn't talk when you was a child, at least you didn't in my family, in my home, unless you were spoken to. And I remember I listened to them carry on a conversation. And then I had moved over close enough to my father to ask him if I could say something. That was a bit out of the ordinary. And he permitted me to talk. And I said, "Dad, I want to go into a convent." And I'll tell you that priest took it up quickly. They had already been influencing me.
My father broke down and began to cry, not because he was sad, but he was
very happy. My mother came over and took me in her arms and she too wept
tears---she was very happy. Those were not tears of sadness [but] because their
little girl was giving her life to the convent to pray for lost humanity. And
naturally, my family was very thrilled about it. And I was too.
INTO THE CONVENT
But anyway, I didn't go for about a year after that. And then the time come when I got myself ready and my mother prepared things for me. They took me. They didn't have a place close enough to my father's and mother's home, so I think they took me around a thousand miles away from home where I entered a convent boarding school. I lacked about three months being thirteen years of age--just a girl. I look back on it now, and think... my...homesick. I was so homesick! Well, my mommy and daddy, they stayed three days with me and then they left. I became so homesick. Naturally. I was just a baby away from home. When I was a little girl, you know, I never spent a night away from my mother. And I surely had never gone any place without my family. And naturally there was close ties in my family, and I was very lonely and very homesick. But I'll never forget [when] mother told me, "Good-bye." And I knew they were traveling a long distance away from me. And I had never realized in my heart I'll never see them again. Naturally I hadn't planned it like that because I'd planned to be a sister of the Open Order.
Listen carefully to this portion of the testimony then you'll understand just why I'm saying some of the things that I am saying. Now oftentimes we say the priest selects his materials through the confessional box, because at seven years of age I went to confessional. At seven years of age I would always, when I'd come into the church first, I'd sit over at the feet of a crucifix...rather the Virgin Mary and then over at the feet of the crucifix, and I'd ask the Virgin Mary to help me make a good confession...because I was a child and my heart was honest. And I knew that the priest taught us to always make a good confession--keep nothing back--tell everything if I expected absolution from any sin that I might have committed. And so I would ask the Virgin Mary to help me make a good confession. And I would ask Jesus to help me make a good confession.
And, you know, I'll assure you after I lived in the convent for a short period of time, I had to go on with my schooling I had just finished the eighth grade. And they promised me to give me a high school education and some college education. But I ended up less college. I got mostly just high school training. And they gave that to me all right. I took it under some terrible difficulties and strains and all that and it was rather difficult. But they gave it to me for which I appreciate it very very much. But I'll assure you [afterwards] they put me through the crucial training that we must go through to become a little initiate [or viviciate?] entering a convent. The training is very outstanding as far as a nun is concerned. And you know what it's all about after you've been in there a little while.
So now I've entered the convent. And for just a few minutes we want to tell
you just a little bit how we lived--what we eat, how we sleep. As I take you
into the convent, and tell you those things, you'll understand a little bit more
about my testimony.
THE WHITE VEIL
First, as I entered the convent, as just a small child and went on to school, I was being trained. But the day came when I was about fourteen and a half when the Mother Superior began telling me about the White Veil. And I didn't know too much about it. By taking the White Veil, they told me that I would become the spouse or the Bride of Jesus Christ. There would be a ceremony. And I would be dressed in a wedding garment.
And on this particular morning, they told me at nine o'clock they would dress me up in a wedding garment. Now, you're wondering where that came from, and how they got the wedding clothes for the little nun. Well, Mother Superior sits down and writes a letter to my father and tells him how much money she wants. And then, whatever she asks, my father sends it. And she, the little buying sister, goes out and buys the material and the wedding garments are made by the nuns of the cloister. (I'm still Open Order now.)
And of course, whatever they asked him he would send out the money for the wedding garment. We don't know these things at the very beginning of our testimony, but after you live in a convent for a little while, you learn to know they would ask my father for a hundred dollars and he'd send it. They would use maybe a third of that for the wedding garment. They would keep the rest of it, and my father would never know the difference. Neither did I until I'd lived in a convent for a period of time and I had to make some of the wedding clothes. And then I knew the value of them, and what they cost. And I knew of the money that came in because I was one of the older nuns.
The time came, of course, when I walked down that aisle and I was dressed in a wedding garment. And you know, in the convent, I used to walk the fourteen stations of the cross--the fourteen steps that Jesus carried the cross of Calvary--but after I made up my mind to take the White Veil, never again did I walk. I wanted to be worthy. I wanted to be holy enough to become the spouse, the bride, of Jesus Christ. And so I would get down on my knees and would crawl the fourteen stations--quite a distance. But I crawled them every Friday morning. I felt it would make me holy. I felt it would draw me closer to God. It would make me worthy of the step that I was going to take. And that's what I wanted more than anything in the world. I would like to impress on your hearts--every little girl that enters a convent that I know anything about, that child has the desire to live for God. That child has a desire to give her heart and mind and soul to God.
Now many, many people make this remark and we hear it from various types of folks who say only bad women go into convents. That isn't true. There are movie stars who go into convents. And they've lived out in the world and no doubt they are sinners and all of that. But they go in when they're women--they know what they're doing. And they go in only because the Roman Catholic Church is going to receive not only thousands, but yea well up into the millions of dollars. And they don't mind who they take in as they can get a lot of money out of that individual.
But the ordinary little girl, that goes in as a child--she's just a child--and she goes in there with her heart and mind and soul just as clean as any child could be. I say that because sometimes we hear a lot of things that are really not true.
Now, after we become the spouse of Jesus Christ--I want you to listen
carefully to this, and then you can follow me into the rest of the testimony--we
are now looked upon as married women. We are the spouse or the Bride of Jesus
BECOMING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
Now the priest teaches every little girl that will take the White Veil they'll become the bride of Christ. He teaches her to believe that her family will be saved. It doesn't make any difference how many banks they rob, how many stores they rob. It doesn't make any difference how they drink and smoke and carouse and live out in this sinful world and do all the things that sinners do. It doesn't make a bit of difference. Our family will be saved if we continue to live in the convent and give our lives to the convent and to the Church--we can rest assured that other members of our immediate family will be saved.
And you know that there are many little children that are influenced and enticed to go into convents because we realize that it will be the salvation for our families. And sometimes, in a Roman Catholic family, the children grow up and leave the Roman Catholic Church and go out into the deepest of sin. And so every little girl who enters into the convent is hoping by her sacrificing so much--home and mother and daddy--everything that a child loves--her family will be saved regardless of what sins they commit. And of course we're children and our minds are immature and we don't know any better. It's so easy to instill things like this into the hearts and minds of little children .. and the priests are really very good at it.
And of course we looked upon our priest--our Father confessor--I looked upon him as God. He's the only god I knew anything about. To me he was infallible. I didn't think he could sin. I didn't think that he would lie. I didn't think that he ever made a mistake. I looked upon him as the holiest of holies, because I didn't know a god, but I did know the Roman Catholic priest. And to me, I looked to him for everything that I asked of God, so to speak, I believed the priest could give it to me.
And so the day comes with all of us. Now as we are going in...I want you to listen carefully--after taking the White Veil things are beautiful. I'm sixteen and a half years of age. Everyone's good to me. And I'm living in the convent and I haven't seen anything yet, because no little girl--we're not subject to a Roman Catholic Priest until we're twenty-one years of age. And as we get in this next vow, then you'll understand, we don't know about this. This is kept from the little sisters until we've taken our Black Veil and then it's too late.
I don't carry the keys to those double doors and there's no way for me to
come out. The priest will tell all over the whole United States and other
countries--that sisters and nuns, rather, can walk out of convents when they
want to. I spent twenty-two years there, I did everything that I could do to
get out. I've carried tablespoons with me into the dungeon and tried to dig
down into that dirt because it's no floors in those cases. But I never yet found
myself digging far enough to dig out of a convent with a tablespoon and that's
about the only incident. Because when we're using the spade--and we do have to
do hard, heavy work--when we use a spade we're being guarded--we're being
watched by two older nuns and they're going to report on us--and I'll assure you
you're not going to try and dig out with a spade. You wouldn't get very far
anyway, because they built and made those convents so little nuns can never
escape. That was their purpose in building them. And they'll never get out
unless God makes a way. But I believe God's making a way for nuns and little
girls to come out of the convent.
THE BLACK VEIL
Alright, now when the time comes, I think I was eighteen when the Mother began talking to me. I planned to come out, see, after my white veil I wanted to be a little nursing assistant in the Roman Church. But the Mother Superior--I suppose she was watching my life--I suppose she realized I had much endurance, I had a strong body. And I believe the woman was watching me, because one day she asked me into her office. And she began to tell me, "Charlotte, you have a strong body." And she said, "I believe you have the possibilities of making a good nun. Of course you will. I believe you're the type that would be willing to give up home--give up mother and daddy--give up everything you love out in the world--and the world so to speak--and hide yourself away behind convent doors. Because I believe you're the kind that would hide back there and be willing to sacrifice and live in crucial poverty that you might pray for lost humanity." She said, "I believe you're the kind that would be willing to suffer." Because we're taught to believe, as nuns, that as we suffer our loved ones and your loved ones that are already in a priest's purgatory will be delivered from purgatory sooner because of our suffering.
She knew I was willing to suffer. I didn't murmur. I didn't complain. She knew all about it. She's watching my life, and that's the reason she began to tell me about the Black Veil. And then, of course, you know, I didn't know too much about a cloistered nun. I didn't know their lives. I didn't know how they live. I didn't know what they done, but, you know, this woman proceeded to tell me.
Now we hear a lot of people try to tell me in the various places that we travel and go...I hear a lot of Roman Catholics try to tell me, "I've been in so many cloisters. I know all about them." But you know a Roman Catholic can lie to you. And they don't have to go to confession and tell the priest about the lie that they've told, because they're lying to protect their faith. They can tell any lie they want to to protect their faith and never go to the confessional box and tell the priest about it.
They can do more than that. They can steal up to forty dollars. And they don't have to tell the priest about it. They don't have to say one word about it in the confessional box. They are taught that. Every Roman Catholic knows it. And every Roman Catholic--you'd be horrified to know how many of them steal up to that amount. And many of them lie. We've dealt with them. I've dealt with hundreds and hundreds of them. I see a good many of them fall in the altar and cry out to God to save them. And you know before they get saved, they look into my face and hold my hand and lie to me. But after God gets a hold of their heart, then they want to make right what they told me because they realize they've lied about it. But as long as they're Roman Catholic, they're permitted to lie. And it's the saddest thing. You can't expect them to know God, because God does not condone sin.
I don't care who you are. I don't believe God condones sin. And I don't believe He's going to condone it in the Roman Catholic people, even though they're being misled and they're being blinded and led into ways that are going to lead them into a devil's hell. I believe that with all of my heart, because I've lived in a convent. I know something about how these people live and what they do.
Now the day comes. She told me, "Charlotte, you have to be willing to spill
your blood. Jesus shed His upon Calvary." She said, "You have to be willing to
do penance. Heavy penance," She said, "You'll have to be willing to live in
crucial poverty." Now already I'm living in the pit of poverty, but I thought
that was going to make me holier, and draw me closer to God, and would make me a
better nun. And so I'm willing to live in that poverty.
LAYING IN A CASKET
And then on this particular morning, she told me what I would be wearing. She said, "You'll spend nine hours in a casket." And she explained a number of things to me. That's the most I knew about it. And I didn't find that out until I had taken my White Veil.
And so, on this particular morning, I'm twenty-one years of age. But sixty days previous to my being twenty-one years of age, I'm going to sign some papers that they place in front of me. And those papers are this--I'm going to sign away every bit of inheritance that I might have received from my family after they're dead. Of course I signed that over to the Roman Catholic Church. And oftentimes I say the Roman Catholic priests are enticing girls--not only their background, not only their strong bodies, their strong minds and strong wills--but he's enticing girls where mothers and fathers have much property. And they are constantly fishing for the material things of this life. Why? Because when that child enters the convent they're going to get a portion of her money--of her father's money.
And I often say even salvation in the Roman Catholic Church is going to cost
you plenty of money. More than you know anything about. And so they don't mind
commercializing off of that child and the inheritance that would have come to