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Marsabielle

What Happens if a Sister Becomes Too Attached?

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Marsabielle    5
Marsabielle

Hello.

 

I  have a younger blood sister discerning religious life. She recently asked me, after watching a nun movie, what would happen in a cloister if a nun became inordinately attached or obsessed with a fellow Sister-that is, wanting to be her best friend or treating her as such.

 

all I could think was that the superior would notice it and deal with it. I then thought of Saint Therese though, and whether a religious would even mention that another sister had grown too attached to her. It seems like she would just offer it up for the Church.

 

Dictated this/typos. Any thoughts?

 

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katherineH    264
katherineH

It depends on the community.  There are some communities that are very clear about not having "favorite" sisters, while others concede that it's a normal part of life to get along better with one person than another. This would likely frame any discussion a superior might have with the sister.  If the sister is in formation, it is likely that her formator (postulant/novice director) would talk to her about it.  

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Nunsuch    388
Nunsuch

There is a wonderful passage in "In This House of Brede" in which it is noted that the Benedictine nuns there believe in friendship--but MANY friends, not just one. But that doesn't mean that one doesn't like certain individuals more than others. As kH said, that is perfectly normal. The difficulty is when it become possessive or selfish.

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Antonella    33
Antonella

St. Teresa of Avila talks about this kind of friendships in Way of Perfection:

One result of it is that all the nuns do not love each other equally: some injury done to a friend is resented; a nun desires to have something to give to her friend or tries to make time for talking to her, and often her object in doing this is to tell her how fond she is of her, and other irrelevant things, rather than how much she loves God.

The problem with this kind of obsession is that you don't get obsessed with the actual person, but with an perfect image you have of them. You become obsessed because you think that this person is perfect. When she shows signs of "weakness" the disappointment is great and it may harm your vocation or lead to hatred.

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Marsabielle    5
Marsabielle

Thanks for the replies.

 

I think she was thinking more along the lines of: if a Sister began following another Sister around, becoming her shadow, mimicking her mannerisms etc. I often tell my sister that I'm flattered that she copies me, but NO, we cannot wear matching, outfits head to toe. 

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truthfinder    1,340
truthfinder
28 minutes ago, Marsabielle said:

Thanks for the replies.

 

I think she was thinking more along the lines of: if a Sister began following another Sister around, becoming her shadow, mimicking her mannerisms etc. I often tell my sister that I'm flattered that she copies me, but NO, we cannot wear matching, outfits head to toe. 

I'm not sure how old your sister is, but I'm assuming she is not 8. If it's to this degree of copying and attachment, she should see a professional as it might be a sort of attachment disorder or anxiety that she is suffering.

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Marsabielle    5
Marsabielle
4 hours ago, truthfinder said:

I'm not sure how old your sister is, but I'm assuming she is not 8. If it's to this degree of copying and attachment, she should see a professional as it might be a sort of attachment disorder or anxiety that she is suffering.

You are correct, and she is seeing a doc about her anxiety. 

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