Candlemas and Consecrated Life

The feast of the Presentation of the Lord, otherwise known as Candlemas, is also the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. I wonder how many people in the British Isles ever come across what we used to call religious, and if they do, do they know it? If you bumped into me in the street you would certainly register the funny clothes (Benedictine habit), and I hope my conduct would not be unbecoming, but would you really know I am a nun?

That is not an idle question. When Jesus was presented in the temple he was ‘ransomed back from God’ by his human family. When a religious vows him- or herself to God, it works the other way on. When we look at the life of Jesus, every word, every act, speaks of his desire to save, heal, make whole. That is what those who are not themselves religious should see in us. Pray it may be so, for those of us privileged to live under vows know what a sorry job we make of things. Still, as my old Junior Mistress was wont to say, ‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.’ God doesn’t make junk, no matter how much we mess things up.

A Little Light Relief

Vocation videos are not my cup of tea, but this one has the redeeming grace of being funny and insightful. Benedictine, of course!


7 thoughts on “Candlemas and Consecrated Life”

    • I felt similarly, Terry. I try to bear in mind that the habit does not make the nun, but for we lay persons of a certain age, a nun without a habit is missing something significant, it seems.

      As I was watching the video, I kept imagining how the nuns gathered in prayer would look in nunnish habits. More like nuns, I thought. I know this is irrational, and perhaps even prejudicial.

      Being a nun is more than clothing. I pray one day that part of me that resists non-habited nuns to be more open to the nun under the habit.

  1. I pray it may be so…

    My father taught me a job worth doing is worth doing well. And this lesson I’ve taken to heart. But unless I am willing to do it well I may not do it at all (perfectionism/procrastination ).

    The model of a job worth doing is worth doing ‘badly’, humour aside, allows one to begin and to give one’s good effort, one’s best effort, regardless of outcome. We can only approach God in our imperfection. It is after all how He made us. And it is important that we understand that nuns are people too, that is, imperfect, on a path to Perfection.

    It is encouraging to be reminded that ‘messing up’ is not spiritually fatal.

  2. Most of the signs in the video have applied to me at some stage of my life … and I’m now married. I have wondered occasionally if I took the wrong path, but mostly when I’ve managed to convince myself that what God wants and what I want couldn’t possibly be the same thing.

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