The Contemplative Vocation


Christ still walks the earth.   He still mingles with the crowds, comforting the broken-hearted and strengthening those whom the years have treated harshly.  The thousands of religious men and women who have dedicated themselves to education and the works of mercy in schools and hospitals, radiate His love everywhere, and in their own lives make tangible the truth of His promise, "Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world."


Christ still prays, too, on the heights, far from the ways of men.   Contemplative religious, called to a life "hidden with Christ in God," spend themselves in prayer and solitude to keep alive that burning fire which Our Lord came to cast upon the earth.


Such is the apostolate as God has planned it.


Yet, faced with the fact of the prayerful, hidden lives of contemplative religious, there are many today who ask, "Why this waste?" They forget that those words were the words of Judas.


They also object that "this might have been given to the poor"--these young lives, this strength, this devotion, this love, might better have been channeled into caring for the sick or the uneducated.   The intentions of such people are good, but their judgment is awry. The scale of their values tips too far to one side.


The contemplative vocation can be judged truly only through the eyes of God.   In this, as in many other matters, St. Paul's remark holds true: "The sensual man does not accept what is taught by the Spirit of God.    He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way. . ." (l Cor. 2: 14)    Providence has a place for every man and woman in this world;  those with faith to see and courage to follow God's will, find theirs.   It may be a vocation to remain in the world in the married or single state, or to enter the priesthood or religious life.   Of the latter group, some are called to a community whose apostolate is principally active, others to one dedicated to a life almost entirely contemplative.    In every case, God chooses the specific work for the specific individual.  


The following pages trace the origin, life and aim of the cloistered Passionist Nuns.  Because there are only five monasteries of Passionist Nuns in the United States, our charism and vocation are not as widely known as other Orders.   It is our prayer that these pages will introduce you to the beauty of our way of life.


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