My life there and afterwards

When you first go to the Community of Jesus, as a live-in or a new member, or are a novice in the sisterhood, you have to write daily notes about your sins. You are to confess every thought and feeling, and things you did during the day. It is to be a self-examination and exposure of everything you can find that is sin. There were times where I had had a good and happy day, wrote that, and was confronted by 2 of the sisters that this was not helpful. It was not the good things that needed to be confessed, and I was in unreality to think I had not sinned that day. I was to go back and find what my sins had been, and re-write the note.

Once I was thoroughly trained in the daily note writing, I could graduate to weekly notes, and eventually no notes unless needed. Once the thought reform had sunk in, the confessions happened verbally, as the day went on. We were all trained to seek out our sin, in ourselves and in each other, and to make this a constant focus of our lives together.

We also reported on each other, especially if someone would not accept a correction. Some people reported sins gleefully, for revenge, others reluctantly, but we all did it. We were taught that true love was to expose sin. Hidden sin kept you from God, so the best way to help your neighbor was to expose their sin. Every personal boundary was violated.

Some things were brought before the heads of the households, and others went straight up to the leaders. You learned quickly to be as appeasing as possible so that your sins did not get reported to the leaders, for you were then in danger of having a public correction, which was extremely humiliating and shaming. Shunning was always a part of public corrections.


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