Maria & Reverend Mother visit privately in the Reverend Mother’s private office.
Maria: Which brings me to another transgression Reverend Mother. I was singing out there today without permission.
Reverend Mother: Maria, it is only here in the Abbey that we have rules about postulate singing.
Maria: I can’t seem to stop singing wherever I am. And what’s worse, I can’t keep to stop saying things . . . everything and anything I think and feel.
Reverend Mother: Some people would call that honesty.
Maria: Oh, but it’s terrible Reverend Mother. You know how Sister Berthe always makes me kiss the floor after we’ve had a disagreement? Well, lately I’ve taken to kissing the floor when I see her coming . . . just to save time.
- – - -
Later in the story, Maria returns to the Abbey to seek the Reverend Mother’s advice.
Maria: Reverend mother.
Reverend Mother: Why did they send you back to us?
Maria: They didn’t send me back . . . I left.
Reverend Mother: Tell me what happened.
Maria: Well, I . . . I was frightened.
Reverend Mother: Frightened? Were they unkind to you?
Maria: Oh, no, I, I was . . . I was confused. I felt . . . I’ve never felt that way before. I couldn’t stay, I knew here I’d be away from it. I’d be . . . safe.
Reverend Mother: (Instructively) Maria. Our Abbey is not to be used as an escape. What is it you can’t face?
Maria: I can’t face him again.
Reverend Mother: Him? Captain Von Trapp?
Maria nods affirmatively.
Reverend Mother: Are you in love with him?
Maria: I don’t know! I don’t know! The Baroness said I was. She said that he was in love with me, but I . . . I didn’t want to believe it. Oh, there were times when we would look at each other. Oh mother, I could hardly breathe.
Reverend Mother: Did you let him see how you felt?
Maria: If I did, I didn’t know it. That’s what’s been torturing me. I was there on God’s errand. To have asked for his love would have been wrong. Oh, I couldn’t stay, I just couldn’t . . . I’m ready at this moment to take my vows. Please help me.
Reverend Mother: Maria, the love of a man and a woman is holy too. You have a great capacity to love. What you must find out is how God wants you to spend your love.
Maria: But I pledged my life to God. I pledged my life to His service.
Reverend Mother: My daughter, if you love this man, it doesn’t mean you love God less. No. You must find out. You must go back.
Maria: Oh, mother, you can’t ask me to do that. Please let me stay. I beg of you.
Reverend Mother: Maria, these walls were not built to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live.