Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Bride of the Infinite Bridegroom: The Call

2016-11-17-01-bride-of-the-infinite-bridegroom-img_3786Part One of the Portrait of a Cloistered Dominican Nun Series

Every person is loved into existence.  Even those that, from an earthly perspective may be unwanted, uncared for, the fact remains that before their flesh took form in their mother’s womb, they were thought of by God, down to the number of the hairs on their head, and God loved the idea of that person so much, He gave that person existence.  You, who once did not exist, now live and breathe because God wants you to be, He loved, and still loves you into being.

Yet He does not simply sit back and watch the world unfold.  He does not casually watch us as we would watch a movie, rooting for the good, booing the bad, crying with separated lovers and rejoicing when things end happily ever after.  No, it is a great mystery how He works in human history, for our history is truly His story, and still He still respects our freewill to either cooperate with His graces or not, to love Him or spurn Him.  Yet, like a mad lover, He does everything with precision to woo us and show us the infinite good that He is and offers us.  This is the Christian vocation – to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him, He who is infinite good.  In that sense, every single Christian is called to contemplation.

But there are some people He chooses to woo most directly.  From the beginning of time, He saw these souls and was enamored by them, and choose them to be set aside, consecrated, just for Him.  He would make them His Spouse while they were yet on earth.  Within this calling to a contemplative life as the Spouse of Christ, He further invites them to share in His heart, in His love, in a particular way – that is, the charism of the Order to which He calls them.

The Dominican Order was founded by Our Holy Father Dominic with the mission of preaching for the salvation of souls.  During his days, Dominic joyfully gave himself freely to his brothers and sisters, encouraging and teaching them in holiness, and to his neighbors preaching the Gospel.  He studied and contemplated God’s Word and sacred truth so that he might share with others the fruits of his contemplation.  During the night, he spent himself in prayer, giving God praise and adoration, and interceding for the people.  “Lord, what will happen to sinners?” he was frequently heard crying out to God before the altar in the chapel.  In the example and instruction of our Holy Father Dominic, Dominican life is based on the four pillars of Prayer, Study, Community, and Preaching; its mission has two intertwining parts: to give praise and glory to God and for the salvation of souls.

A Dominican nun shares in this priestly and apostolic heart.  As Mary watched over the Church in the upper room at Pentecost, praying with and for them, and the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and went out to preach to the people, a Dominican nun spends her life in prayer and silent solitude for the work of the Dominican Order and the salvation of souls.  She is inseparably joined to the entire Dominican family and continually makes prayers and sacrifices on their behalf.  As the ground must be softened by water so that the seeds sown in it will grow, a Dominican nun remains at the feet of her Beloved, Jesus, contemplating Him; she does this so that the Gospel preached throughout the world would not return to God empty, but may accomplish those things for which it was sent.  For if we do not first pray for the Holy Spirit to rain down on hearts hardened by sin and self-love, how can the seeds of the Gospel sown by the preacher take root, grow, and bear fruit?

Want to learn more about how to discover the gifts God has given you and about cloistered, contemplative life as a Dominican nun?  Contact Sister Joseph Marie to register for our upcoming “Come-and-See” Day.  The deadline to register is fast-approaching!

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