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“Be still and know that I am God.”
“In watchful waiting for the Lord’s return, the cloister becomes a response to the absolute love of God for His creature and the fulfillment of His eternal desire to welcome the creature into the mystery of intimacy with the Word…drawing to Himself the entire life of the cloistered nun in order to offer it constantly to the Father.”
The first impression of most visitors to a monastery is that of silence and stillness.
A silence that is charged with meaning! It is intense. Monastic silence is not so much the absence of speech and noise, but the presence of God and an atmosphere in which the struggle to find Him and be faithful to Him is palpable.
The monastery provides a God-centered space where the cloistered nun can enter the mystery of God’s presence, bring that presence to bear on the world, and bring all of the world’s concerns to God.
For Dominican Nuns the search for God is expressed in the rhythm of the monastic day, guided by the norms of Papal Enclosure.
The whole of our life is centered on the daily celebration of the Liturgy. All the elements of the cloistered life flow from the daily celebration of the Eucharist and lead us to enter more deeply into the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ.
The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, beginning with Matins at 3:30 a.m. and ending with Compline in the evening, takes precedence over the work and occupations of the day.
It is in returning every three hours to the chapel for community prayer that the nuns are reminded of the center and focus of their lives: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and their participation in His work for the salvation of souls.
Study is an essential aspect of the Dominican contemplative life. It is not primarily a gathering of information, but reflective reading and the contemplation of truth that nourishes prayer and permeates our entire life. Study of sacred truth, especially the Scriptures, is an integral part of our Dominican vocation and serves as an indispensable source of nourishment for unceasing prayer and transfiguration into Christ.
The confines of the cloister lead the nun to go deeper into the meaning of God’s love and will, where our concern for the welfare of our brothers and sisters extends to a world far beyond the walls of the monastery.
“The monastery represents what is most intimate to a local Church – its heart, where the Spirit always groans in supplication for the entire community and where thanksgiving rises unceasingly for the Life which he sends forth each day.”
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