Why Cloistered Nuns?February 21, 2012 No Comments
February 21, 2012 | MariaNews.com
Why Cloistered Nuns?
(By Pure Catholic, a CatholicDaily.com Blog) - To a person considering the Catholic faith, it may seem anachronistic or even useless that the Church still supports and encourages women and men to live a “cloistered” life, a life removed from ordinary society and perhaps spent in silence. Sure, maybe in the 12th century this sort of thing made sense, but today in America? What possible use is such a monastic existence? It seems so Dark Ages and maybe even a reason to avoid a church that still embodies such things.
Like everything else Catholic, cloistered life fits into a big system of thought.
Catholics view the church differently than do most other Christian fellowships. We understand the church in an organic, holistic sense. We understand the church to span the ages and even to span varying realities.
What I mean by “organic” is that Catholics understand a phrase St. Paul often uses to be an accurate description of the entire church, not just the local congregation. St. Paul says the church is “the body of Christ” and he uses this way of speaking to illustrate various functions within the church. As far as I know, all Protestants consider this to be a description of how a local congregation carries out practical ministry. The idea is that some people preach and teach, others help poor people, another group takes care of finances – and thus at a congregational level the functions of the body of Christ are accomplished with different folks doing different work.
Catholics do, of course, see the legitimacy of this Protestant understanding of the idea of the body of Christ. It is exactly what goes on at a parish. But we also understand the body of Christ is more extensive than the local congregation and has a significance apart from simply summing up the local congregations. The Catholic Church has an existence and work whose context is the whole Church. Tasks of magisterium and formation and universal call are given the Church as a whole, not to any parish or even to all-the-parishes-summed-up-as-a-whole. The earth is leavened not only by the local congregations, but also by the entire Catholic Church as the body. Not even time or death limits the Church in its role as the body of Christ. Saints in heaven continue to pray for the church on earth at a given time in an ever-increasing intensity of intercession.
Subscribe to MariaNews.com
Tags: Catholic Blog, Catholic Seminary, catholic social teaching, Cloistered Nuns, Convent, Friars, MariaNews.com, Priests, Pure Catholic Blog, Religious LifeCatholic Resources, Featured Article, Reflections