Is monasticism dead?


#1

I was in Wal-Mart the other day and ran into a nun - I think. She was ahead of me in the checkout line and wore a veil or wimpole or whatever those head things are called. Below that she had on pumps, stockings, and a floral dress. And it occurred to me that way back before Vatican II, you could tell a religious a mile away from the habit. Where did that go? This nun looked like someone’s granma doing her shopping in a funny headdress. Is that the way a nun is supposed to look? Is there no respect for the religious life anymore?

I know she must not have been a cloistered nun, but even so, I was sort of shocked. I mean, you think of nuns as praying and practicing charity, not shopping at Wal-mart! Am I just being narrowminded or is there something to this? Comments appreciated.


#2

[quote=The_Angelus]I was in Wal-Mart the other day and ran into a nun - I think. She was ahead of me in the checkout line and wore a veil or wimpole or whatever those head things are called. Below that she had on pumps, stockings, and a floral dress. And it occurred to me that way back before Vatican II, you could tell a religious a mile away from the habit. Where did that go? This nun looked like someone’s granma doing her shopping in a funny headdress. Is that the way a nun is supposed to look? Is there no respect for the religious life anymore?

I know she must not have been a cloistered nun, but even so, I was sort of shocked. I mean, you think of nuns as praying and practicing charity, not shopping at Wal-mart! Am I just being narrowminded or is there something to this? Comments appreciated.
[/quote]

Your description sounds narrowminded and perhaps you have jumped to conclusions without imperative information. YOu shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions. What do you look like when you shop at Walmart? Let me guess. :rolleyes:


#3

I notice a bit of a mix around here…the nuns at one of the churches I attend are Franiciscans in full habit and sandals–I mean they really look like nuns. But the nuns at another church I attend look more like nurses with small blue veils on.

Last night, we were at a buffet restaurant and much to my surprise, there were six nuns there. I’d never seen their habits before though–they were all in below knee-length dark blue with matching vests and fairly long matching veils…you couldn’t mistake them as anything but nuns, however, it wasn’t the floor length habit.

But the nun who teaches our biblical school wears no modified habit whatsoever–their order’s rule is to dress as “middle class women.” One seeing her on the street would have no idea this well dressed woman is a nun, short of her crucifix. I’ve even on occasion heard her remark on the discomfort of the habit that they used to wear many years ago.

And I don’t see anything narrow-minded about your post; seems more like an observation.

Penitent


#4

I think it is terribly sad that so many nuns have abandoned the traditional habit. I believe this is partly due to the 1960’s militant feminist influence. The nun’s habit is beautiful and depicts a living example and witness to a Christ-centered life. It is also a nice evangelization tool. The rejection of the traditional nun’s habit is an unfortunate reality. :frowning:


#5

Not narrowminded. If anything, maybe a bit uninformed, but not by your own fault of course lol.

I don’t have much to say, but I will make this one point: nuns have to shop too! lol The food they eat, the toothpaste they use, and so forth, all has to come from somewhere. Even if they live in one of the more closed convents, someone still has to go shopping every once in a while.


#6

Up here we have a lot of Orthodox who wear traditional clothing with a nunnish-looking head covering (I have no idea what they are called… :o ). They look a lot like nuns- but obviously aren’t. Perhaps it is something similar where you are…?


#7

Angelus: your original post does not support your question. How someone may dress is irrelevant to your question: Is Monasticism dead?

Sure, Sister Sandals confuses me when she appears at my left elbow in her sensible shoes, her plaid skirt and white blouse, with blue cardigan. Usually have to peer at her brooch pin to see what Order she’s in. But her dress sense (or lack of in some cases) says nothing about the idea of Monasticism - people choosing to live in community together, sharing Communion and engaged in the task of saying the Divine Office each and every day.

Oh, and not to mention the Solemn and Holy Vows of Chastity, Poverty, and Obediance. Not sure I could go live with a bunch of people I might not even like, and give up all my material and personal possessions. It’s Opus Dei , the work of God they is engaged in, not modelling on the cat walk!

Even Nuns have to shop in Walmart!

Monasticism is not dead but it surely is very weak. Many Communities close each year in Ireland and United Kingdom for lack of Vocations. Pray for Vocations to the Religious Orders, as they pray for all of us each and every day.


#8

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