Trapped by Love?

Is it worth for something today to live as a cloistered nun? Sr. Alicia Correa is an Augustinian Recollect contemplative nun. In this article she narrates a beautiful anecdote that made her find the meaning of contemplative life in our time.

I start with this question: Trapped by Love?

I share this to you that during one of the days of this Christmas, I received a pleasant visit. My visitors were the parents of Guadalupe, a blonde, lively, four-year girl with tousled hair, who also came with them. After greeting us, [nuns], Guadalupe looked at me intently, and after clinging to the bars of the grille that separated us, she, with wide eyes, threw me this question: “And you, why are you trapped here?”

A smile was drawn on the faces of those present and there was a brief silence. That was what she perceived after seeing my silhouette appear behind the grille. She questioned her [mother] about the reason of this way of living or at least of “being.” With kindness, her mother tried to make her understand saying: “Guadalupe, como se dice ‘cerrado’ en inglés?” [“Guadalupe, how do you say ‘cerrado’ in English?”] To which she responded without hesitation: “Closed.” “Very good! Well, [Sister] Alicia is a cloistered nun. She is enclosed; she lives this way because she is always with God. She prays for all of us.”

The brief silence awakened in me another great question: “Is it worth for something today to live as a cloistered nun?” The question that Guadalupe asked me has much to think about, much to tell…

In a media-conditioned society such as ours, in which changes take place at a dizzying speed, and which is characterized by what was once and used to have value, today this value no longer exists. Ours is a society where there seems to be no employment, personnel, nor emotional stability; in which everything is about using and throwing away; and is dependent on the good or benefit that brings me.

The OAR monastery in Bacolod City which houses nuns who willfully present themselves to get “trapped” by love and for love

This is a society where everything is fleeting and unstable, where competition is played; a world that is determined by hedonism, pleasure, minimal effort, by making life choices easy, by living in complete freedom; in which the values ​​of yore have gone into a nosedive and have been replaced by other very different ones.

It is a society where everything is done in a hurry, and the expression “I do not have time” is often heard; where we are “forced” many times to live wearing masks even if we know it, just to pretend, not to be “less” than the others.

It is a society where many times we live at a dizzying pace, and everything tends to tilt outward—empty of what is truly important, bereft of giving an option to think, to introspection—rather than to assert our very own rights because we are important persons. Does it make sense, therefore, to live in the cloister in our society today?

Personally, I do not like to define myself with this term “cloister.” I prefer to talk about contemplation. At a glance, “closed” already denotes something like: to isolate, to close oneself, to put oneself in solitary confinement, to separate oneself. If this alone is understood as “cruel” (“a ‘sangre fría’”), literally, not only does it not make sense to live as a cloistered or contemplative nun, but also – I dare to say – it is foolishness.

However, everything has a background, a meaning. Everything in life has an explanation, a why, a goal and a purpose. Everything has a beginning and a reason why it happens. It is the result of something preceding that gives its identity and style of being. Therefore, trapped, yes, but for something, for something, or better still, for Someone.

The cloister only makes sense today when it is lived as a means and not as an end. When it is assumed in freedom and for love of Someone higher than you, who loves you and who wants to take you to a particular place and away from everything else, to a solitude, in order that He will speak to your heart, (and not because the outside is considered bad, or an escape).

It is a quick, happy and generous response to the call that has been felt from the depths of one’s being. You choose the life of the cloister as a means that favors dedicating yourself completely to God so that there may be least possible disturbances in your dealing and relationship with Him.

Happily trapped — the OAR nuns listening to Fr. Dionisio Selma, OAR with smiles in their faces

It is the offering of yourself for a cause, including the offering of the place where you will develop your life. The cloister favors tranquility and peace of the spirit necessary and essential for the encounter with Love (God) who is contemplation. He is sought to be “caught”, to be “trapped” by Him, to live as close as possible and to speak to God from the heart of all the brothers and sisters who live outside the monastery, because there is another possible, different way of living—it is the one that provides peace, quietness, tranquility, knowing that there is always Someone within ourselves who dwells within us, cares for us, and pampers us; and that it is possible that we may not pay enough attention, that Someone gives true meaning to our existence and for Him we make this choice of contemplative life.

Everything has a reason and a purpose, hence, I ask myself again, I go back to raise the question: “Does it make sense to live like this?” The man and woman of today need, more than ever, those spaces of interiority to discover themselves and that possible option of a different life.

I think I have answered Guadalupe’s question. I live trapped by Love and in order to love.

Written in Spanish by: Sr. Alicia Correa Fernández, OAR
(Monasterio Santíssimo Corpus Christi – Granada, Spain)

English translation: Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

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< 2019 >
July
SMTuWThFS
 1
  • All day
    July 1, 2019

    VATICAN: Ordinary Public Consistory for some Causes for Canonization

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (2017-2019)
    Fray Jay-Jasper Jamelo
    Fray Jovanie Siesmundo
    Fray Joshua Olaivar
    Fray Leonardo Queaño II
    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Fray Ivan Cuison
    Fray Jhyryx Vincent Gamulo
    Fray Jazzy Jeff Montañez
    Fray James Gatinao
    Fray Ralp Andre Cepe Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Benedicta Marco, AR

     

2
  • All day
    July 2, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2014-2019)
    Fray Delfin Castillo

3
  • All day
    July 3, 2019

    ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Merriam Capellan, AR

4
  • All day
    July 4, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    MASS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – SSC-R MANILA

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    Rome / July 4-6, 2019

    RENEWAL OF MOA WITH THE DIOCESE OF CHALAN KANOA (SAIPAN)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Alfonsa Canon, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2016-2019)
    Fray Loreto Ceasar Dacanay
    Sr. Martina de la Santisima Trinidad, AR

5
  • All day
    July 5, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Filomena Castaño, AR
    Sr. Jeraldine Hernandez, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1961-2019)
    Fray Emilio Larlar, Jr.

    (1981-2019)
    Fray Dionisio Selma

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita de la Paz, AR

6
  • All day
    July 6, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian
    Sr. Ma. Alma Alaras, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1962-2019)
    Fray Casiano Cosmilla

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Vicenta Cutanda, AR

7
  • All day
    July 7, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Radni Caparas

8
  • All day
    July 8, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marcelina Diaz, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Juliana Mandia, AR

9
  • All day
    July 9, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cirilo Andan
    Sr. Ma. Alma Limotlimot, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1960-2019)
    Fray Walthrode Conde

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION RELIGIOUS BROTHER)
    (2005-2019)
    Fray Teodulo Hayahay

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lourdes Tanoy, AR

10
  • All day
    July 10, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION (RELIGIOUS
    BROTHERS)
    (2004-2019)
    Fray Rey Tripulca
    Fray Feliciano Campomanes, Jr.
    Fray Jonathan Jamero

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1982-2019)
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla

11
  • All day
    July 11, 2019

    18th PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Gerarda de la Riarte, AR
    Sr. Anacleta Berino, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1976-2019)
    Fray Ceferino Roberto Añez
    Fray Federico Gregorio
    Fray Lauro Larlar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sen. Marcelo Fernan (Brother-General of the Order)
    Sr. Trinidad de Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

1213
  • All day
    July 13, 2019

    AMRSP BIENNIAL CONVENTION
    Hotel Del Rio, Iloilo City/ July 13-17, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1975-2019)
    Fray Regino Bangcaya

14
  • All day
    July 14, 2019

    SEA SUNDAY
    “During this Sea Sunday, we are invited to become aware of the hardships and difficulties that seafarers face daily and of the valuable service provided by the Apostleship of the Sea in being Church who bears witness of the Lord’s mercy and tenderness in order to preach the Gospel in the ports of the whole world.”

    (Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Griselda Gruba, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1974-2019)
    Fray Dionisio Cachero

15
  • All day
    July 15, 2019

    GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF LOCAL VOCATION DIRECTORS AND
    YOUTH MINISTRY DIRECTORS
    Dates: July 15-16, 2019
    Venue: Provincial Curia

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1973-2019)
    Fray Hernando Coja

16
  • All day
    July 16, 2019

    48th PATRONAL FIESTA
    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish-Recoletos / Cebu City
    Fiesta Mass: (Time and Presider—to be communicated later)

    13th PATRONAL FIESTA
    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish / Inagawan, Puerto Princesa City
    Fiesta Mass: (Time and Presider—to be communicated later)

    *Special intention for those who perished in the July 16, 1990 earthquake
    (particularly in Baguio).

    MEETING OF THE PROVINCIAL PROCURATORS IN ROME
    Inclusive Dates: July 16-19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Carmencita Indolos, AR Mo. Cecilia Rosa Talangpaz

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1978-2019)
    Fray Enrico Peter Silab

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Mo. Ma. del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)

17
  • All day
    July 17, 2019

    3rd PATRONAL FIESTA
    Quasi Parish of Nuestra Señora del Carmen / Hinatuan, Surigao
    del Sur
    Fiesta Mass: (Time and Presider—to be communicated later)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda
    Sr. Ma. Soledad Torres, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1966-2019)
    Fray Casiano Cosmilla

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Martina de San Miguel, AR Sr. Martha Llanes, AR

18
  • All day
    July 18, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Teresa Bautista, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1965-2019)
    Fray Emilio Larlar, Jr.

    (1981-2019)
    Fray Samson Silloriquez

19
  • All day
    July 19, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray William Cordero

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1964-2019)
    Fray Walthrode Conde

20
  • All day
    July 20, 2019

    5oth ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST HUMAN PERSON ON THE
    MOON (1969)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Gaudencio Geronimo de Mesa
    Sr. Ma. Nita Atencio, AR
    Sr. Geronima Primor, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Vicenta de San Agustin, AR

21
  • All day
    July 21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ginger Acosta, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Edwin Ilagan, AR

22
  • All day
    July 22, 2019

    FOURTH CENTENARY OF THE DEATH OF
    ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI (1559-1619)
    An OFM Cap friar, he was canonized on Dec. 8, 1881;
    named a Doctor of the Church in 1959.

23
  • All day
    July 23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Rouel Sia

24
  • All day
    July 24, 2019

    ENCOUNTER OF PRE-NOVICES FOR MONTEGAUDO
    Inclusive Dates: July 24-27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Arian Josef Ocheda
    Fray James Dexter Tanquis

25
  • All day
    July 25, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jose Ernil Almayo
    Sr. Ma. Gorreti Cui, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

26
  • All day
    July 26, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joaquin Jamelo
    Sr. Ma. Olympia Bolatete, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Prudencia de la Virgen del Pilar, AR

27
  • All day
    July 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jorge Peligro
    Sr. Ma. Eulalia Magquilat, AR

28
  • All day
    July 28, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Irma Castrodes, AR
    Sr. Ma. Ligaya Satur, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Patrocinio Cabanlet, AR

29
  • All day
    July 29, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Amparo Serra, AR

30
  • All day
    July 30, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Cecilia Rosa de Jesus Talangpaz (288th)
    Sr. Asuncion de San Jose, AR
    Sr. Magdalena del Espiritu Santo, AR
    Sr. Magdalena Sabano, AR

31
  • All day
    July 31, 2019

    END OF THE CURSO DE PREPARACIÓN (Spain)

   

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