The life of a
contemplative nun is. . . .
From our Constitutions.....
A Prophetic Life
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 World
A Life for the Church
...Cloistered nuns are fully within the communion
of the Church,
becoming a unique sign of the entire Christian
union with God.
A Life of Prayer
A Life of Hope
A Life of Love
The contemplative nun
fulfills to the highest
degree the First
Commandment of the Lord...#5
A Marian Life
Cloistered nuns see
themselves especially in
the Virgin Mary, Bride
and Mother, figure of the Church...#1
A Hidden Life
The solitary cell, the
are the place where the
Bride of the Incarnate
concentrated with Christ in God.
A Christocentric Life
Fixing their gaze
upon Jesus Christ
....they wholly cleave to the Lord.
Their life is a reminder to all Christian people of the fundamental vocation of everyone
to come to God.
Cloistered nuns fulfill that mission by dwelling at the missionary heart of
the Church, by means of constant prayer, the oblation of self and the
offering of the sacrifice of praise. Their life thus becomes a
mysterious source of apostolic fruitfulness and blessing for the Christian
community and for the whole world.
In a spirit of freedom and hospitality, with the tenderness of Christ, nuns
bear in their hearts the sufferings 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
The contemplative life is the nun's
particular way of being the Church, of building the communion of the Church,
of fulfilling a mission for the good of the whole Church. Cloistered
contemplatives 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.
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.
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.
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 Redemption, 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.
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 Incarnation, and united to Jesus Christ in His offering
of Himself to the Father, they become co-workers in the mystery of
Redemption. Just as in the Upper Room, Mary in her heart, with her
prayerful presence, watched over the origins of the Church, so too now the
Church's journey is entrusted to the loving heart and praying hands of the
In their undivided attention to the
"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well
and in their loving acceptance of that word, cloistered nuns are
"with Him on the holy mountain"
2 Pt 1:17-18.
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.
from the world...gives a Eucharistic quality to the whole of cloistered
life, since besides it elements of sacrifice and expiation, it assumes the
aspect of thanksgiving to the Father, by sharing in the thanksgiving of the