FAQ: What do nuns do?
Before considering what nuns do, it’s more appropriate to reflect on what nuns are: regardless of the congregation or religious institute to which she belongs, making Christ present in the world is the nun’s primary mission. She does this by conforming herself entirely to the Person of Jesus Christ through vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. In poverty, she gives God her worldly possessions in the sure knowledge that He will provide for all her needs; in chastity, she offers Him her undivided heart so that she might be free to spread the Gospel and love all people with His love; in obedience, she offers God her will (through obedience to her superior) so that God’s will and hers may be one. In short, just as Christ Himself was poor, chaste and obedient, so must she be. The foundation of everything she is and does is prayer. Her daily life revolves around it, and because of it she becomes a point of intercession for the needs of many. She is a sign of hope that this world is not the end of the story and she is a sign of the eternal beatitude to which we are all, ultimately, called. There are contemplative and active nuns (although these last are technically not nuns at all, but religious sisters). For the contemplative, prayer is her work, essential as it is, and she is often engaged in hospitality at her monastery. On the other hand, the active religious sister’s conformity to Christ is expressed more visibly through a particular apostolate, for example, teaching, nursing, crisis pregnancy work and care for the homeless. It is through these that she serves Christ.
July - August 2017
Recent Blog Posts
- Blog: 12.01.17
- Blog: 13.12.16
- Blog: 09.10.16On his blog and in a recent Catholic Herald piece (9.9.16) Bishop Robert Barron offers some excellent reflections upon a recent Pew survey looking at reasons why young people are leaving Christianity in droves. He well shows how Roman Catholic leaders and teachers are dangerously underestimating ...Read More
- Blog: 23.08.16
- Blog: 08.08.16On 23 June 2016 a referendum was held in which a narrow majority of voters in the United Kingdom (nearly 52%) voted in favour of leaving the European Union, the so-called “Brexit”. This contrasts with the large majority (67%) who had voted to join the then European Community in 1975. ...Read More
- Blog: 17.07.16Thirty odd years after this overview of twentieth century Catholic intellectual culture, the points of James Hitchcock seem even more relevant. Below are some extracts but the, significantly longer, full article repays study. [Post-mortem on a rebirth. The Catholic Intellectual Renaissance, from ...Read More