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life choices easy, by living in complete freedom; in which the values ​​of yore have gone into a nosedive and have been replaced by other very different ones.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 >
September
SMTuWThFS
1
  • All day
    September 1, 2019

    WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION

    NOVENA TO ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINO BEGINS

    80th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BEGINNING OF WORLD WAR II (1939)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, D.D. (Diocese of Antipolo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Francisca de Sta. Maria, AR Sr. Placida Patrimonio, AR

    OLCP- MIRANILA FIESTA MASS
    Time: 11:00 AM
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Roberto Gaa, D.D.

2
  • All day
    September 2, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Miguel Miró (69th)
    Fray Federico Gregorio

3
  • All day
    September 3, 2019

    NATIONAL CONVENTION ON LAUDATO SI AND CLIMATE EMERGENCY
    September 3-5, 2019 / Layforce, San Carlos Seminary, Makati City

    GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1969-2019)
    Fray Hernando Coja

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray James Erold Gatinao (simple Prof.)
    Sr. Annielyn Alejado, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Rosario Padilla, AR

4
  • All day
    September 4, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MOZAMBIQUE
    September 4-6, 2019

    Day 1: ROME – MAPUTO
    8:00 Departure by air from Rome-Fiumicino Airport for Maputo
    18:30 Welcome ceremony at Maputo Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Ms. Brenda Saliendra, Sister General of the OAR

    SILVER JUBILEE OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1993-2019)
    Fray Emilio Jaruda

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Melchora de Sta. Teresita de Jesus, AR

5
  • All day
    September 5, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MOZAMBIQUE Day 2: MAPUTO
    -Courtesy Visit to the President in the “Ponta Vermelha” Palace
    -Meeting with the Authorities, Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in Ponta Vermelha Palace
    -Interreligious Meeting with the Young in the Pavillon Maxaquene
    -Lunch in the nunciature
    -Meeting with the Bishops, Priests, Men and Women Religious, Consecrated Persons, Seminarians, Catechists and
    -Animators in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

    INSTALLATION OF MOST REV. JOSE RAMIREZ RAPADAS III, D.D. (Bishop of Iligan)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Sixto Ciriaco Bitangjol
    Fray Tomokatsu Yamaguchi (deacon)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Antonia Dinsay, AR

6
  • All day
    September 6, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MOZAMBIQUE

    Day 3: MAPUTO – ANTANANARIVO
    -Visit to Zimpeto Hospital
    -Holy Mass in the Stadium of Zimpeto

    12:40 Farewell ceremony at Maputo Airport

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MADAGASCAR
    September 6-9, 2019

    DAY 1: ARRIVAL FROM MOZAMBIQUE
    16:30 Welcome ceremony at Antananarivo Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Michael Catama
    Fray Rellyric Delos Santos
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan

7
  • All day
    September 7, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MADAGASCAR

    Day 2: ANTANANARIVO
    -Courtesy Visit to the President in the “Iavoloha” Presidential Palace
    -Meeting with the Authorities, Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in the Ceremony Building
    -Prayer in the Monastery of the Descalced Carmelites Meeting with Bishops of Madagascar in the Cathedral of Andohalo
    -Visit to the Tomb of Blessed Beata Victoire Rasoamanarivo
    -Vigil with the Young in the Soamandrakizay diocesan field

    SOLEMN PROFESSION OF VOWS
    9:00 AM / Our Lady of Consolation Parish Church, Quezon City
    Fray Cristito Rey P. Tepace
    Fray Virgilio C. Calalang, Jr.

    OLCP- LARAY FIESTA MASS
    Time: 6:00 PM / Procession: 7:00 PM

    LAUNCHING OF THE BOOK “ST. EZEKIEL MORENO: STUDIES ON HIS MISSIONARY ACTIVITY IN THE PHILIPPINES”
    9:00 AM / Fray Luis de Leon Library, UNO-R, Bacolod City

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Regino Bangcaya
    Sr. Anita Manigo, AR

8
  • All day
    September 8, 2019

    BIRTHDAY OF MAMA MARY

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MADAGASCAR

    Day 3: ANTANANARIVO
    -Holy Mass in the Soamandrakizay diocesan field Lunch with the papal entourage in the nunziature

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ SNTP – DALIAO, KAOHSIUNG CITY, TAIWAN
    Presider: Fray Corvin Maturan OAR (Head of Taiwan-Saipan Missions)

    LAUNCHING OF THE BOOK “ST. EZEKIEL MORENO: STUDIES ON HIS MISSIONARY ACTIVITY IN THE PHILIPPINES”
    9:30 AM / STV-R, San Carlos City

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor (deacon)
    Sr. Alejandra Bendoval, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE & SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Loraine Lechago, OAR

9
  • All day
    September 9, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MAURITIUS

    Day 4: ANTANANARIVO – PORT LOUIS – ANTANANARIVO

    7:30 Departure by air for Port Louis
    10:40 Welcome ceremony at Port Louis Airport
    Holy Mass at the Monument to Mary Queeen of Peace
    Lunch with the bishops of CEDOI in the bishopric
    Private Visit to the President in the Presidential Palace
    Meeting with the Prime Minister in the Presidential Palace
    Meeting with the Authorities, Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in the Presidential Palace
    Farewell Ceremony at Port Louis Airport

    19:00 Departure by air for Antananativo

    20:00 Arrival at Antananarivo Airport
    Note: Pope returns to Rome the following day, September 10

    2019 WORLD TOURISM DAY
    (cf. Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)

    UNIVERSITY WEEK – UNO-R BACOLOD
    Inclusive Dates: September 9-13, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Arlyn de la Cruz, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1985-2019)
    Fray Dionisio Selma – Prior Provincial

10
  • All day
    September 10, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINE
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    FIESTA MASS @ SNT ORATORY – UNO-R BACOLOD
    Time: 7:30 AM
    Presider: Most Rev. Patrico Buzon, SDB, D.D.

    FIESTA MASS @ SNTP – TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCC.
    Time: 10:00 AM
    Presider: Most Rev. Patrico Buzon, SDB, D.D.

    FIESTA MASS @ SNTP – QUEZON CITY
    Time: 6:00PM
    Presider: Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Bishop of Cubao)

    49th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE PROVINCIALATE AS A COMMUNITY (Est. 1970)

    47th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF CSNT-R, TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL (F: 1971)

    LAUNCHING OF THE BOOK “ST. EZEKIEL MORENO: STUDIES ON HIS MISSIONARY ACTIVITY IN THE PHILIPPINES”
    10:00 AM / USJ-R, Cebu City

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Eufrocina Rusiana, AR
    Sr. Mary Grace Judith Alamares, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1989-2019)
    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Amadeo Lucero

11
  • All day
    September 11, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1998-2019)
    Fray Randolph Castulo Castillo
    Fray Charlito Orobia
    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia
    Fray Jonathan Caballero

12
  • All day
    September 12, 2019

    20TH PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jorr Rabacal (deacon)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1992-2019)
    Fray Leander Barrot
    Fray Paulino Dacanay

13
  • All day
    September 13, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Hon. Rufus Rodriguez, Brother General of the Order

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1970-2019)
    Fray Dionisio Cachero

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1997-2019)
    Fray Jose Ernil Almayo

14
  • All day
    September 14, 2019

    TAIWAN VISIT & RENEWAL PROGRAM OF OAR PARISH PRIESTS AND CHAPLAINS
    Inclusive dates: September 14-19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Lourdes Piccio, AR
    Sr. Floramae Lanuza, AR

15
  • All day
    September 15, 2019

    FIESTA MASS @ HOLY CROSS PARISH, TALIAO, KAOHSIUNG CITY, TAIWAN
    Time: 3:00PM
    Presider: Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos OAR (Parish Priest)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Morillo
    Fray James Bumangabang

16
  • All day
    September 16, 2019

    107th ANNIVERSARY OF RELIGIOSAS FAMILIAS

    UNIVERSITY WEEK – USJ-R, CEBU
    Inclusive dates: September 16-21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan
    Fray Robin Ross Plata (deacon)
    Sr. Mary Ann Lumactao, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Angeles Gabutina, AR

17
  • All day
    September 17, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Socrates Mesiona, D.D.
    (Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa)

18
  • All day
    September 18, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Sr. Ma. Ruth Gulane, AR

19
  • All day
    September 19, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    FEAST – ST. ALONSO DE OROZCO

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla
    Fray Joel Alve

20
  • All day
    September 20, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Nena Labrague, AR
    Sr. Kristine Ignacio, AR

21
  • All day
    September 21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Alexus Mansueto

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Isabel Pantoja, AR
    Sr. Salvacion Olalo, AR
    Sr. Ma. Susana Quiñones, AR

22
  • All day
    September 22, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marietta Angelica Gunayan, AR
    Sr. Nancy Macaraig, AR
    Sr. Sheryl Garcia, AR

23
  • All day
    September 23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Vicente Ramon, Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Sebastiana Jaropojop, AR
    Sr. Agustina Salcedo, AR

24
  • All day
    September 24, 2019

    2019 CEAP NATIONAL CONVENTION
    September 24-27, 2019
    Iloilo Convention Center, Iloilo City

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1967-2019)
    Fray Emeterio Buñao

25
  • All day
    September 25, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lucita Mingueto, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Esperanza Heffler, AR

2627
  • All day
    September 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rafaela Paras, AR
    Sr. Damiana Tafalla, AR
    Sr. Ma. Melodina Ramirez, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY:
    Mo. Genoveva del Santissimo Sacramento, AR

28
  • All day
    September 28, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BLESSED MARTYRS OF JAPAN

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION:
    Bp. Peter Liu of Kaohsiung (Taiwan) [1994-2019]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Iluminada Apurillo, AR

29
  • All day
    September 29, 2019

    105th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
    (Pope Francis Message: cf. http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/migration/documents/papa- francesco_20190527_world-migrants-day-2019.html)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roderick Deguit

30
  • All day
    September 30, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ferdinand Fornilos
    Sr. Crisanta Lerios, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2017-2019)
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Fray Jayferson Baldelovar
    Fray Mark Saludes

     

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