Why are contemplative women's orders getting so much attention?


#1

As one who works with religious communities to promote their charisms, I've noticed that websites of contemplative communities get a lot more visits than active ones.

For example, the website of the Poor Clares of Santa Barbara, CA, get many more times the number of website visits than active Franciscans.

What makes them so appealing? Is it the fourth vow of enclosure these Poor Clares take, which keeps them inside their walls, to be alone with God? Is it their cheerfulness when they talk to you on the phone? Is it their clear sense of purpose when they talk?

A Poor Clare nun devotes herself to God alone, and "Prayer is her first work," as their website says.

Can anyone give a reason for so much interest in them?


#2

For me, it is because they put more focus on prayer and growing in contemplation. It is VERY hard for active orders or even semi active orders to find the right balance of work and prayer. All too often they don’t focus on silence and growing in deep prayer and holiness. That is a MUST for any and all vocations and it is the key to love and happiness.


#3

[quote="KevinBanet, post:1, topic:234481"]
...websites of contemplative communities get a lot more visits than active ones. What makes them so appealing?

[/quote]

Mother Teresa's mission, EWTN programming, and that these women wear their Christianity.


#4

[quote="KevinBanet, post:1, topic:234481"]
As one who works with religious communities to promote their charisms, I've noticed that websites of contemplative communities get a lot more visits than active ones.

For example, the website of the Poor Clares of Santa Barbara, CA, get many more times the number of website visits than active Franciscans.

What makes them so appealing? Is it the fourth vow of enclosure these Poor Clares take, which keeps them inside their walls, to be alone with God? Is it their cheerfulness when they talk to you on the phone? Is it their clear sense of purpose when they talk?

A Poor Clare nun devotes herself to God alone, and "Prayer is her first work," as their website says.

Can anyone give a reason for so much interest in them?

[/quote]

They are in the world, but not of the world. They have set themselves apart for Christ. That makes them a great example for the rest of us! And, they can pray for us! :)

On the other hand, some active orders are too worldly. They've shucked their traditional habits (which say they are not 'of the world') for street clothes which says they ARE of the world. Not good. That makes them seem not much different than us, actually. And we want a better example than ourselves. Human beings are attracted to discipline and order and sacrifice. That's why we so admire the U.S. Marines!


#5

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:4, topic:234481"]
They are in the world, but not of the world. They have set themselves apart for Christ. That makes them a great example for the rest of us! And, they can pray for us! :)

On the other hand, some active orders are too worldly. They've shucked their traditional habits (which say they are not 'of the world') for street clothes which says they ARE of the world. Not good. That makes them seem not much different than us, actually. And we want a better example than ourselves. Human beings are attracted to discipline and order and sacrifice. That's why we so admire the U.S. Marines!

[/quote]

Amen to that, Scooby! :thumbsup: You are so right.


#6

I suspect there is a great deal of mystery surrounding their lifestyle, so it is far more interesting to "research" these orders or try to imagine living there. The notion of austerity and silence begets a greater sense of romanticism than the active orders do.


#7

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:4, topic:234481"]
They are in the world, but not of the world. They have set themselves apart for Christ. That makes them a great example for the rest of us! And, they can pray for us! :)

On the other hand, some active orders are too worldly. They've shucked their traditional habits (which say they are not 'of the world') for street clothes which says they ARE of the world. Not good. That makes them seem not much different than us, actually. And we want a better example than ourselves. Human beings are attracted to discipline and order and sacrifice. That's why we so admire the U.S. Marines!

[/quote]

Oh, Scooby, you should know better. This topic has been discussed* ad nauseam* here and on phat. Most of the congregations new in civvies were founded by women who had always desired and directed that their sisters dressed like the common poor women of the day, often widows. They never planned that their members be dressed in medieval garb. It may be true that young women like habits, at least the concept--whether they like wearing them in Africa or the Deep South is another question--but that isn't what the vast majority of the original foundresses of the apostolic congregations wanted or directed in their original documents. That what Vat II directed the communities to do-modernize, for one thing and eamine their original documents for another.

Many have alleged that you can't recognize a religious in modern garb. From what I see on the websites, you would be hard pressed not to recognize them.

I take it that you are male. What is it about women's religious habits that makes male posters attack those who don't wear them? Young women may desire habits, but don't attack those who don't wear them.

Discipline and Order and Sacrifice, huh? Every congregation and order under the sun exercise and emphasize these qualities. Try reading some website newsletters and blogs for a while.


#8

Keep in mind that an active order doesn't necessarily mean an order that doesn't wear a traditional habit.

What about the contemplative-active orders, like the Dominicans? There are some who wear a habit and some who do not, depending on the individual community.

The question was not "Why do orders with the habit get more attention than orders without the habit", but "Why do contemplative orders get more attention than active orders."

It does no one any favors to generalize and say that all contemplative orders have the habit, because some don't, or to say that all active orders do not have a habit, because some do.

wayward


#9

There are many fewer contemplative houses than apostolic houses. A number of contemplative monasteries don't have websites, or, if they do, have only a single page. So those contemplative monasteries with active websites get more traffic.

Traffic itself also doesn't mean much. It's the numbers of those entering, but, much more important, the numbers of those taking final vows that is the ultimate test.


#10

I am personally more drawn to contemplative or semi-contemplative orders, because of the whole idea of being alone with Christ and the focus on prayer… hope that helps :slight_smile: God bless


#11

[quote="ChemicalBean, post:6, topic:234481"]
I suspect there is a great deal of mystery surrounding their lifestyle, so it is far more interesting to "research" these orders or try to imagine living there. The notion of austerity and silence begets a greater sense of romanticism than the active orders do.

[/quote]

I suspect, ChemicalBean, that you are probably quite correct - although doubtless not the only reason.

TS


#12

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