spiritual and musical discernment.


I was going to university at Los Angeles Mount Saint Mary’s college. I attended 2004 to 2007. I enjoyed all the courses I took. I put 200 percent of my time into learning. I left because the curriculum started to sway a bit off its ecumenical track. There was a kind of pressure starting to form about preferences over whether one was a catholic or not.

I became extraordinarily strong in my interreligious perspective. I love studying history, culture, myths, and humanity. I was getting awfully close to finishing the master’s program. One course forced me to make a moral decision to leave the program.

I was in a remarkably interesting course on spiritual discernment.  The course was taught by a sister / Nun who was rather old and taught the course more like a high school course than a master’s course. I liked her, and she seemed filled with integrity until our confrontation about child abuse.

Currently, it was in all the news. The Los Angeles Sex Abuse cases. It was very troubling for me to behold. My Two sons, ages 6 and 14 at the time, are extremely near and dear to me. We were not attending any catholic church at the time, but I was still very angry.

The Sister said to the class that all of this “child abuse” will make the Church more authentic.  I stood up and said,

“…but Sister one child is too many, how can this be?”

Sister looked at me and said,

“That is, your opinion!”

Overwhelmed I finished the course. Heart-broken I left altogether.

In 2007 I read this in the news,” Catholic Church Settles Los Angeles Sex Abuse Cases for $660 Million.” Shocked but I knew then that what I was feeling was my own spiritual discernment.  Mine was right on. I wanted to move towards becoming a chaplain. I wanted to work with helping others regardless of their age, sex, faith etc. Yet, there is one thing that is unacceptable. I am glad I left the program.

The end of the semester I left the university and went to my first music event in a long time. I attended the Wiltern Theater to see Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. My hair was to my butt and red. I was on a new path again. I never went back to the Wiltern, but I did revisit lots of bands and shows since then.

It was a freeing time of spiritual and musical discernment. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club helped me through a rough time of heavy discernment.


Author: Hudley Flipside

Welcome to Hudley Flipside’s “The Seminary Of Praying Mantis Publishing.” Praying mantis shows me her story of life, death, and rebirth. For me she is an image or symbol of the divine in all things. I watch the praying mantis in my garden and have taken her image as my logo. She is an amazing little creature, and I relate to her connection to nature. We are both wild and part of this strange world. She is a part of my mythology as I am part of hers.

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