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life choices easy, by living in complete freedom; in which the values ​​of yore have gone into a nosedive and have been replaced by other very different ones.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

    ALL SAINTS’ DAY

    BIRTHDAY:
    Sr. Marjorie Palacat, AR

2
  • All day
    November 2, 2019

    ALL SOULS’ DAY

    ATTENTION: Recoletos de Luzon
    7:00 AM Mass @ Himlayang Pilipino, Quezon City
    Mass Presider: Father Provincial

3
  • All day
    November 3, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lolita Esteves, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1971-2019)
    Fray Regino Bangcaya

4
  • All day
    November 4, 2019

    VATICAN: HOLY MASS FOR THE REPOSE OF THE SOULS OF THE CARDINALS AND BISHOPS WHO DIED OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR

    10TH ANNIVERSARY – APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS (2009)

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING

    November 4-8, 2019 / Rome

    CANONICAL RETREAT
    of the OAR Candidates to Diaconate and Presbyterate November 4-9, 2019

    USJ-R BALAMBAN: LAUNCHING OF ENGLISH & LIBRARY MONTH

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Zenaida Cabanes, AR
    Sr. Ma. Esperanza Mae Valmores, AR

5
  • All day
    November 5, 2019

    34TH STUDENTS’ CONGRESS OF RECOLLECT SCHOOLS (SCORES)
    Theme: “Rekoleto Youth: Catalyst for Change for Nation-Building” Venue: SSC-R de Cavite

    Inclusive dates: November 5-9, 2019

    NEGROS DAY / AL CINCO DE NOVIEMBRE

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio
    Fray Rey Jay Quevedo (simply prof.)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Federico de la Rosa (2000-2019)

6
  • All day
    November 6, 2019

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Leoncia Bandal, AR
    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR
    Sr. Liezl Palabrica

7
  • All day
    November 7, 2019

    BLD. GRATIA OF KOTOR, Religious (Patron of OAR Lay Collaborators)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Cecilia Palomo, AR

8
  • All day
    November 8, 2019

    START OF THE NOVENA TO NUESTRA SRA. DE LA SALUD

    COMMUNIO 2019
    November 8-9, 2019
    Host: Recoletos School of Theology

    CSNT-R: SAINTS AND ANGELS DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Alfreda Galinato, AR
    Fray Jovanie Siesmundo (simply prof.)

9
  • All day
    November 9, 2019

    30TH ANNIVERSARY – FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL (1989)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Emilio Jaruda, Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY:
    Fray Jesus Pastor Paloma (1996-2019)

10
  • All day
    November 10, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Hermosilla Torreon, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Lourdes de San Agustin

11
  • All day
    November 11, 2019

    PRIOR GENERAL’S RENEWAL VISIT TO SIERRA LEONE & KENYA November 11-24, 2019

    ARSE – BATCH 3
    Inclusive dates: November 11-15, 2019
    Facilitator: Fray René Paglinawan, OAR
    Venue: Talavera House of Prayer-Recoletos, Cebu City

    4th BEC NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
    (in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of BEC in the country)
    November 11-14, 2019 / Apo View Hotel, Davao City
    Theme: “Discerning the Challenges of the BEC Journey in the Light of the New Evangelization”

    UNO-R: START OF CLASSES (SECOND SEMESTER)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Gemma Netollama, AR Sr. Christie Maquiling, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda Balaba, AR

12
  • All day
    November 12, 2019

    2nd INTERNATIONAL ENCOUNTER OF CEAR
    November 12-15, 2019 / Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cristine Tenio, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Corazon Nartia, AR

13
  • All day
    November 13, 2019

    ST. AUGUSTINE’S 1665th BIRTHDAY

    ALL SAINTS OF THE ORDER

    OFFICIAL LAUNCHING OF “SANTO NIÑO @ 500”
    Venue: Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu City
    Theme: “Sto. Niño, the abiding presence of the Father in our journey of faith…”

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Remedios de la Cruz
    Sr. Rechilda Llorando, AR

14
  • All day
    November 14, 2019

    22ND PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Emilio Larlar, Jr.
    Sr. Clementina Galve, AR
    Sr. Luzviminda Escal, AR

15
  • All day
    November 15, 2019

    MEETING OF THE LOCAL CHRONICLERS
    Venue: Bulwagang Recoletos Atrium, Mira- Nila, Quezon City

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR (Tangub Monastery)
    Sr. Ma. Elisa Abellaniza, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Encarnacion del Santissimo Sacramento
    Sr. Consolacion Salamanca, AR
    Sr. Ma. Belen Muñez, AR

16
  • All day
    November 16, 2019

    DIACONAL ORDINATION
    Fray Virgilio Calalang Jr., OAR
    Fray Cristito Tepace, OAR
    Venue: OLCP Church, Miranila, QC / Time: 9:00 AM
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Bartolome Santos Jr., D.D. (Diocese of Iba)

    8th CATHOLIC SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMIT
    Venue: Lourdes School of Mandaluyong
    For more details:
    https://catholicsocialmediasummit.com/

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Carmen Alba, AR

17
  • All day
    November 17, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA SALUD
    *Blessing of the La Salud Chapel and Enthronement of the Image of the N. S. de la Salud (@SNTP, Quezon City)

    WORLD DAY OF THE POOR

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nestor Raras

18
  • All day
    November 18, 2019

    IV INTERNATIONAL ENCOUNTER OF EDUCAR
    November 18-22, 2019 / Rio de Janiero, Brazil

    USJ-R: CLASSES BEGIN (SECOND SEMESTER) CST-R: CAREER WEEK FOR GRADE 12
    November 18-22, 2019

    EZMBOYZ CLUSTER GATHERING
    November 18-20, 2019 / Tabuelan, Cebu

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ricarda Raganas, AR

19
  • All day
    November 19, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND AND JAPAN
    November 19-26, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Dolores Diana, AR
    Sr. Nobie Noman, AR
    Sr. Ma. Jeanne Partosa, AR
    Sr. Josephine Tanio, AR

20
  • 10:06 AM-10:07 AM
    November 20, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND
    November 20-23, 2019

    DAY 1: ROME-BANGKOK

    12:30
    Arrival at Military Air Terminal 2 of Bangkok
    Official Welcome at Military Air Terminal 2 of Bangkok

    SPA (VALENCIA) HIGH SCHOOL DAYS
    November 20-23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ralph Laureen Ciceron
    Mo. Eufemia Lauzon, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    (2001-2019)
    Sr. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Tangub Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Celestina de San Nicolas de Tolentino

     

21
  • All day
    November 21, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND

    DAY 2: BANGKOK
    Welcome Ceremony in the Government House courtyard
    Meeting with the Prime Minister in the “Inner Ivory Room” of the Government House
    Meeting with Authorities, Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in the “Inner Santi Maitri” Hall of the Government House
    Visit to the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch at Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Temple
    Meeting with the medical staff of St. Louis Hospital
    Private visit to infirm and disabled people at St. Louis Hospital Lunch at the Apostolic Nunciature
    Lunch at the Apostolic Nunciature
    Private visit to His Majesty the King Maha Vajiralongkorn “Rama X” at Amphorn Royal Palace
    Holy Mass in the National Stadium

    ANNIVERSARY OF APPOINTMENT AS ARCHBISHOP
    Archbp. Peter Liu Cheng-chung (Diocese of Kaoshiung, Taiwan)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1998-2019)
    Sr. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Tangub Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Santos Serato (2003-2019)

22
  • All day
    November 22, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND

    DAY 3: BANGKOK
    Meeting with Priests, Religious, Seminarians and Catechists in St Peter’s Parish

    Meeting with the Bishops of Thailand and FABC at the Blessed Nicholas Boonkerd Kitbamrung Shrine

    Private meeting with the Members of the Society of Jesus in a hall close to the Shrine

    Lunch at the Apostolic Nunciature

    Meeting with the Leaders of the Christian denominations and Other Religions at Chulalongkorn University

    Holy Mass with Young People in the Cathedral of the Assumption

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Consejo de Santa Monica
    Sr. Ma. Paulita Llacer, AR

23
  • All day
    November 23, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND – JAPAN DAY 4 (1): BANGKOK – TOKYO

    Farewell Ceremony at Military Air Terminal 2 of Bangkok

    9:30
    Arrival at Tokyo-Haneda Airport

    1740
    Welcome Ceremony at Tokyo-Haneda Aitport
    Meeting with the Bishops at the Apostolic Nunciature
24
  • All day
    November 24, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO JAPAN

    DAY 2: TOKYO-NAGASAKI-HIROSHIMA-TOKYO

    9:20
    Departure by plane for Nagasaki
    Arrival at Nagasaki Airport
    Message on nuclear weapons at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park
    Tribute to the Martyr Saints at the Martyrs’ Monument – Nishizaka Hill
    Lunch at the Bishop’s House
    Holy Mass in the Baseball Stadium
    Departure by plane for Hiroshima

    16:35
    Departure by plane for Hiroshima

    17:45
    Arrival at Hiroshima Airport
    Meeting for peace at the Peace Memorial

    20:25
    Departure by plane for Tokyo

    22:10
    Arrival at Tokyo-Haneda Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Sr. Fulgencia Relos, AR
    Sr. Cathryn Nove Vila, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Imelda Lachica, AR
    Sr. Mary Bernard Matanguihan, AR

25
  • All day
    November 25, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO JAPAN

    DAY 3: TOKYO

    Meeting with the victims of Triple Disaster at “Bellesalle Hanzomon”
    Private visit to Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace
    Meeting with Young People at the Cathedral of Holy Mary
    Lunch with the Papal Delegation at the Nunciature
    Holy Mass in the Tokyo Dome
    Meeting with the Prime Minister at Kantei
    Meeting with Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps at Kantei

    RFC & RST: FEAST OF ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA & RECOLETOS SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY (RST) DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Feliciano Campomanes
    Sr. Ma. Ninfa Inzon, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmela de Santa Teresita
    Sr. Francisca Abad, AR

26
  • All day
    November 26, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO JAPAN

    DAY 4: TOKYO – ROME

    Private Holy Mass with the Members of the Society of Jesus in the Chapel of Kulturzentrum of Sophia University

    Breakfast and private meeting with the Collegium Maximum at Sophia University
    Visit to the elderly and infirm priests at Sophia University

    Farewell Ceremony at Tokyo-Haneda Airport

    11:35
    Departure by plane for Rome/Fiumicino

    17:15
    Arrival at Rome/Fiumicino Airport

27
  • All day
    November 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ivan Cuison (simply prof.)
    Sr. Antonietta Castañares, AR
    Sr. Rhiza Eltanal, AR

28
  • All day
    November 28, 2019

    21st FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO (1998-2019)

    30TH ANNIVERSARY – LAST APPARITION OF OUR LADY OF KIBEHO (1989) [Note: Kibeho is in southwestern Rwanda]

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Eva Grace Cadungog, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2013-2019)
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan

    8th ANNIVERSARY (2011-2019) OF ACCEPTANCE AS BROTHERS/SISTERS GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
    Hon. Rufus Rodriguez
    Mr. Fulgencio Culaton
    Dr. Milagros Espina
    Mrs. Leonila Dosado

29
  • All day
    November 29, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Glynn Ortega

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Ester Anacleto, AR

30
  • All day
    November 30, 2019

    125TH ANNIVERSARY – ENCYCLICAL ORIENTALIUM DIGNITAS (1894)

    Holiday: BONIFACIO DAY

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