I’m curious about how people feel about the nuns’ habit today. I think the nun’s habit is fantastic! As a young lady discerning the call to religious life, I immediately rule out any community that does not wear a habit. The habit is an integral part of the rich history and tradition of monasticism. It is as neccessary as any other Catholic tradition, like liturgical vestments, chant, or the use of Latin. When you chip away some of those seemingly less-important traditions, like the habit, you are more likely to find it easy to get rid of other, more important things. Like the life of a nun itself, the habit isn’t forces on anyone. If a woman wants to be a nun, she ought to accept that being a nun means wearing a habit as part of her daily life. No one forces a woman to be a nun, but when you accept that life, you take on the whole package. I’ve never understood these nuns who joined their convents/abbeys when the habit was mandatory and rejoice now that it is not. What did they join for in the first place if it was such an issue?
Catholics, would you rather see nuns in habits or street clothes, or doesn’t it matter to you?
Yes. I would! At my college, the monks wear their habits, and when you see them, their habits set them apart from the world in the mind immediately. Yes, I know that they are people just like me, but the habit represents to me everything that they live their life for. I don’t have to ask, their habit displays their convictions in and of itself. We have a sister who teaches, but says that the habit of her order (which she does not wear) is a sign of opression to many. If that is they case, then wouldn’t the lifestyle she originally agreed too be the actual sign of opression? A habit is simply an external sign of an internal agreement to live a certain way. I think her excuse was weak. I really wish more womens’ religious orders would wear habits. It identifies them, what they believe in, and how they live their life.
Catholics and non-Catholics, what impression did the nuns’ habit have on you when you were a child? I never grew up with nuns. I went to a private Catholic school from 1st to 6th grade and all of my teachers were lay-people. There was one nun who came to teach religion once a week, and she never ever wore a habit. She just looked like a normal old lady. When I was at that school, we watched The Sound of Music and was enamored with the opening scene and the nuns being nuns, and when they told me our religion teacher was a nun, I didn’t understand and was a little disappointed.
Sorry for my mini-essay…haha.