Virgin Time: In Search of the Contemplative Life. Patricia Hampl begins her quest not to find something, but to shake off the indelible brand of a Catholic upbringing. Yet even as an adult removed from the dogma of her early Catholic training, she feels the pull of contemplative prayer. In her search, she travels to the 'old world' of Catholicism, to the golden haze of St. Francis's Assisi and to the surging crowds of Lourdes with their candles and incurable illnesses. What she was looking for confronts her, finally, on a retreat at a monastery near the Lost Coast of northern California in the still, virgin moments of silent prayer.