FAQ: Why the cloister?


During Lent, we are sharing some reflections from our nuns on common questions about the Passion of Christ, redemptive suffering and penance, and some aspects of cloistered contemplative life.  Read some of the other FAQs here, here, here, & here. We hope these may answer some of your questions, or help you to respond to the questions of others!

Question #5: Why is it necessary that you live a hidden cloistered life?

It is necessary for us to live a hidden cloistered life because God has called us personally to this kind of life, and it is in following our vocation that we become all that we are meant to be. The cloistered life is very important in the world, even today, because cloistered nuns are meant to be signs pointing to the life of the world to come, to remind humanity that this present world is passing away and we are all meant to be journeying to the Heavenly Jerusalem. As cloistered nuns, and particularly as Passionist nuns, we devote ourselves to a life of prayer and penance. God calls all Christians to participate in His redemptive love and His redemptive work for mankind. All Christians are called to participate in this redemptive work.  The Church, made up of Christian souls, is Christ’s Bride. Every Baptized soul is espoused to Christ. Human marriage is a sign pointing to the reality of the mystical marriage of Christ and the Church. As nuns, we forego the sign of human marriage and live directly, intensely the reality of mystical marriage with Christ. God calls some to live this here on earth in order to remind others of this reality.

An image that you may find helpful, again referring to the Mystical Body, is the cloistered nun as the heart hidden but essential, pumping the life blood throughout the body.