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Their life is a reminder to all Christian people of the fundamental vocation of everyone
to come to God [4]
Cloistered nuns fulfill that mission by dwelling in the missionary heart of the Church,
by means of constant prayer, the oblation of self and offering of the sacrifice of praise.  Their life thus becomes a mysterious source of apostolic fruitfulness and blessing for the Christian community and far the whole world.
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A Prophetic Life
A Life for the World
In a spirit of freedom and hospitality, with the tenderness of Christ, nuns bear in their hearts the suffering and anxieties of all those who seek their help, and indeed of all men and women.  Deeply attuned to the experiences of the Church and of people today, they cooperate spiritually in building the kingdom of Christ so that "God may be everything to everyone."  1 Cor 15:28  [#8]
A Missionary Life
The pilgrim Church is by her very nature missionary;
therefore mission is also essential to institutes
of contemplative life.
A Life for the Church

...Cloistered nuns are fully within the communion
of the Church,  becoming a unique sign of the entire

Christian community's intimate union with God.
The contemplative life is the nuns particular way of being the Church, of building the communion of the Church, of fulfilling the mission for the good of the whole Church.  Cloistered cuntemplatives therefore are not asked to be involved in the new forms of active presence, but to remain at the wellspring of Trinitarian communion, dwelling at the very heart of the Church.  [6]
Through prayer, especially the celebration of the liturgy, and their daily self-offering,
they intercede for the whole people of God and unite themselves to Jesus Christ's
thanksgiving to the Father.
  [6]

Their life is entirely dedicated to God, loved above all else, in a ceaseless straining towards the heavenly Jerusalem....Their life is a foreshadowing of the goal towards which the entire community of the Church  journeys, in order to live forever as the Bride of the Lamb.  [4]

A Life of Hope

A Life of Love

The contemplative nun  fulfills to the highest
degree the First Commandment of the Lord.
 [#5]
Separation from the world...gives a Eucharistic quality to the whole cloistered life,
since besides its elements of sacrifice and expiation, it assumes the aspect of thanksgiving to the Father,
by sharing in the thanksgiving of the Son.  
[#3]
A Marian Life

Cloistered nuns see themselves especially in
the Virgin Mary, Bride and Mother,
figure of the Church...[#1]
Nuns relive and perpetuate in the Church the presence and the work of Mary.  Welcoming the Word
in faith and adoring silence, they put themselves at the service of the mystery of the
Incornation, and united to Jesus Christ in His offering of Himself to the Father, they
became co-workers in the mystery of the Redemption.  Just as in the Upper Room, Mary in her heart, with her prayerful presence, watched over the origins of the Chruch, so too now the Church's
journey is entrusted to the loving heart and prayerful hands of the cloistered nuns.  [#4]
A Eucharistic Life
The ancient spiritual tradition of the Church, taken up by the Second Vatican Council,
explicitly connects the contemplative life
to the prayer of Jesus "on the mountain," or a solitary place not accessible
to all but only to those whom He calls to be with Him,
apart from the others. [#3]
A Christocentric Life
Fixing their gaze upon Jesus Christ
...they wholly cleave to the Lord.
A Hidden Life
The solitary cell, the closed cloister,
are the place where the nun,

Bride of the Incarnate Word,
lives wholly consecrated with Christ in God.

A Life of Prayer
In their undivided attention to the Father's word; "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" Mt 3:17,
and in their loving acceptance of that word, cloistered nuns are always
"with Him on the holy mountain."  
2 Pt 1:17-18  [#1]
The Meaning and Value of the Contemplative Life

Excerpts from "Verbi Sponsa" ("The Spouse of the Word")
The Church's instruction on the Contemplative Life
and the Enclousure of Nuns.



The Life of a contemplative nun is. . . .

 

It is charity, poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit, which makes nuns co-workers of the truth,
participants in Christ's work of Rememption, and through their vital union with other members of the
Mystical Body makes their lives fruitful, wholly directed to the pursuit of charity, for the good of all.
 
[7]