In this moving, psalmic memoir, Funk suggests that tragedy—a flash flood in Bolivia in 1984, through which she lived but four died—at its core may be beyond words. Nevertheless, she describes it in stirring detail. More importantly, she diagnoses what happened to her, body and soul, in the decades afterwards. Funk, a Benedictine nun, begins with her Midwestern upbringing, her early entrance into religious life, its repressions and her depressions, and her career as a teacher and a leader in the Catholic Church. The businesslike autobiography in the first part contrasts keenly with her forceful, faithful telling of the flood and the funerals in the second. She marries the two styles—prosaic and dramatic—in the last section, an analysis that ranges from living with post-traumatic stress, that is, living beyond death, to living with the Psalms and knowledge, that is, living in relationship with God. She does not waste time on maudlin sentiment, nor space on "what if?" She says simply, "I was brought low . . . and given life." —Publishers Weekly
In January 1984, Sr. Mary Margaret Funk, a Benedictine nun from Indiana, paid a visit to Maryknoll missionary nuns working in Bolivia. On what should have been a routine trip to the local town for a convocation ceremony, a flash flood swept away the jeep in which she, three nuns, a priest, and a disabled boy they had adopted were traveling. Only she and the priest survived.
What happened that night catapulted Sr. Meg into twenty-five years of prayer and self-examination. She relentlessly explored her relationship with the transcendent and immanent God, the profundities of her religious tradition, her commitment to spiritual practice, and her very human failings. It was a journey that left her spiritually naked before the terrible love of God; a journey to keep one's heart open to the transforming wounds of suffering.
In the great tradition of spiritual confessions from Augustine to Thomas Merton's The Seven-Storey Mountain
, Into the Depths
is a fearlessly honest and simply told account of one woman's struggle to engage at the deepest levels with the most profound questions of faith.