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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Go Pro

What day is it? Summer always throws me. I've been thinking all day that it's Friday. In two days I will be correct. Let me put you on to some people who are not confused.

I often get questions about vocations. I really hate to answer questions about vocations. There are two questions that make me particularly uncomfortable, "what order should I join?" and "how do I tell if I have a vocation?"

I just cannot answer those questions for two reasons:

There are thousands of orders doing hundreds of things.

I don't know you from Adam.

At least these days you can be a virtual nun.

I had heard about being a virtual nun a long time ago, but I never paid any convents any virtual visits until just yesterday (and I knew yesterday was Tuesday and still woke up thinking today was Friday). I noticed on my little advertising list that the eighth grade boys had encouraged me to add, there was an ad called "Be a Virtual Nun." That took me to a dandy site written by a nun who explains what her days are like, what her schedule is...I really liked her schedule, which included eating popcorn and reading in the evening. We don't have popcorn here as it does not agree with Sister Mary Fiacre's diverticulitis, and it doesn't seem fair to make her smell popcorn that she can't eat. Anyhow, I found it fascinating.

Today there was a link to another order. So keep your eyes peeled. (Pray to St. Lucy to help you with that.)

I also want to put in a plug for these gals: The Carmelites of Indiana. Although they will not be the Carmelites of Indiana much longer.

OH how I love them! They were the first virtual nuns I heard about so long ago. They are a cloistered order and their numbers were dwindling. I think they went from 16, to 12, to 7 in a couple of years time. I also think they were hoping their website would bring them some fresh faces.

But it didn't. Now they have to move out of their giant convent, which means they have to leave Indiana altogether. It's not so sad as what was going on with those three nun in Santa Barbara. The big giant convent is going to be used as a seminary. It's not like they have no where to go and the house is going to be a Wal-Mart. They are going off to live with a group of Franciscan nuns and continue their Carmelite mission. Hopefully there won't be any turf wars.

I'm kidding about the turf wars. Everyone is wearing brown at least. (That's a gang colors reference...still joking....)

Here's the thing that thrills me about this group. It's called "Pray the News". We do that all the time! Even better, each nun takes a turn writing about what she's been thinking about in regards to the news. They used to each write something on each news article. Then they had just one nun do it per news article per week. Now they don't post new articles very often, so I admit I don't visit them so much anymore.

Except....when I'm really in a pickle and I need prayers. I go straight over to them. I figure that in as much as God hears all our prayers no matter how they are offered, these nuns are like the Michelangelo's of prayer. The Isaak Perlman's of prayer. The Michael Jordan's of prayer. They don't do anything else. Always go with a professional, I say.

So I'm pleased to introduce you to them if I haven't already. I may have already talked about them. Who knows? I don't even know what day it is.

Speaking of professional prayers:
James said...

Okay, back to the Rosary. I have a question or two: So 4 times around the beads is a Rosary with a capital R. Now do I start each new set of mysteries with the Apostles Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary's etc. or do I end the 5th mystery and go right on to the next large bead and start off with an Our Father for the first of the next set of Mysteries? This might be a minor, inconsequential (?) point so forgive my ignorance.

My second Rosary question: Does it count at all if I'm quite distacted through the Rosary? Like if I'm saying the prayers but more concerned with correcting my children's behavior or if I'm pre-occupied with worrying about the many things I fret over. Sometimes I get through with a mystery (many times) and I realize I did almost zero meditating on the mystery and instead I was worrying about how I'm going to pay the electric bill or something. Do I get any credit for these Rosaries or should I just give up those times and try again later?

It really never occurred to me to go zooming through onto the next set of Mysteries like that. I suppose you could. We start over again. Helps clear your mind to contemplate the next set.

I think we have to tackle part two tomorrow. On Saturday, or Thursday...whatever day it turns out to be.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry I didn't know about these nuns when we lived in IN. I wish them well with their move.

That picture of the bearded woman from the previous post is really scary. Make that REALLY scary.

Maria said...


I'm eager for part two of the rosary. That almost sounds like a question I want to ask. Though, I'm finding myself more and more troubled with prayer.

We have a Carmelite Convent where I live and sadly their numbers are decreasing too. The Pray The News website has been discontinued.

I'll keep these sisters and you and yours in my prayers.


DaveW said...

Distraction during prayer is a problem I have also. I'd call it a "big" problem except I have so little control over it and God must certainly know that, so I think God gives me credit for the effort rather than perfection in execution. Not just in prayer either. My mind wanders all over the place during Mass too.

So I start out by asking God to help me be "present" and keep my mind quiet and for Him to help me get whatever spiritual food I need. For Mass I show up about 15 minutes early and read the readings for the day, then kneel and do the Glory Be, a Haily Mary or 2, and the Our Father to get in a decent frame of mind. Then I'll focus in and give thanks and ask God to quiet my mind.

Each time I realize I've wandered off in my mind I draw myself back. Since I do not do this willfully I believe God understands. And since I ask God to help I think it will get better over time.

I know I'm not the only one that has this problem, though I don't know how prevalent it is, or how severe the problem is for other people. For me this is a pretty big struggle.

Then there are other times when for whatever reason I am so intensely connected during the rosary that I can feel the lash during the scourging and can feel the texture and weight of the cross on his shoulder as He is dragging it bumping along over the cobblestones.

I don't know that either is good or bad. I just know God is watching what I am doing and He knows what's in my heart.

Julie M. said...

I think the Carmelites will be OK. There's TONS of space the Franciscans no longer use in Oldenburg (my dad grew up there and was taught by the Franciscans, but there aren't so many any more), and they're very busy raising sheep, anyway:


So I don't think they'll have any turf wars. :-)

Anonymous said...

Whenever I'm distracted during a rosary or Adoration or LotH or whatever, I figure that's something I need to pray about, so I take a moment to do so. Once the distraction is taken care of, it's a done deal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your help with my question. I wanted to figure out how you find orders that are a good match for you, but I don't know how. I didn't want you to pick it for me. :D