Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Dusty Fro

The Difference Between Nuns And Monks

Recommended Posts

Dusty Fro
Beside the obvious, what are the differences between monks and nuns? Do they traditionally take on different rolls as a whole (convent or monastary) and individually? I always hear about sisters going out in groups to help the poor and sick, whereas monks seem to live a more secluded, studious life, growing plants here and there. Occasionally, I hear about a certain order of nuns that makes chocolate, or an order of monks that records Gregorian chants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andrea348
[quote name='Dusty Fro' date='Jul 28 2004, 03:15 AM'] Beside the obvious, what are the differences between monks and NUNS? Do they traditionally take on different rolls as a whole (convent or monastary) and individually? I always hear about SISTERS going out in groups to help the poor and sick, whereas monks seem to live a more secluded, studious life, growing plants here and there. [/quote]
One thing you have to consider which is often mistaken by many people is that there is a difference between nuns and sisters. The term sister is usually used for the communities active in the world. The term nun refers to a cloistered community who serves the world through their prayers.

I don't know much about monks, so I can't answer the main question, but I thought it was important to distinguish between sisters and nuns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
God Conquers
Each order (monks and nuns) has a distinct charism and there are many many orders which do many many different things.

The role of monks and nuns though, i.e. their vocation is the same. They are grouped under "religious" (as opposed to married, secular single or the priesthood.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lanie
I read something a few weeks ago about the difference also between monks and brothers, if you aren't aware of this I'll see if I can find if, but someone on here will probably be able to tell you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dusty Fro
So do nuns just pray all day?

I met a nun who had taken a 15 year vow of silence. But this was after the 15 years, and she was speaking at a camp I went to...she talked a LOT! It was all bottled up I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crusader_4
Kind of a similar question often you hear "Friar O'Brien" or "Father Smith" is there a distincition between the term friar and father i have alwasy thought the Friar was reffered to monks and Father to a typical priest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
daugher-of-Mary
[quote]So do nuns just pray all day?[/quote]

Nope, although a cloistered nun's apostolate is to "be love at the Heart of the Church" and support the CHurch by prayer and sacrifice. A cloistered nun prays the Liturgy of the Hours as prescribed by her rule, plus whatever prayers/Holy Hours/etc her founder calls for. Between prayer is the normal work of any household...cooking, cleaning, and some work to support the convent (altar bread baking, making vestments, etc.) Most orders also have some sort of study whether is be novitiate classes or lectio divina for the professed Sisters. I've never heard of a cloistered order that takes a complete vow of silence. Most rules prescribe that silence be kept during work so that the Sisters may unite their hearts with the Heart of their Spouse at every moment. However, there are times for talking (and laughing!) called recreation that are part of the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PedroX
Crusader_4

A friar is a kind of religious brother. Mostly, friars belong to the Dominicans (yeah!) or the Fransicans. The live in priories (as opposed to monasteries) and come from the reform movements of the early middle ages.

I have a good friend who is a Dominican Friar. They sound pretty cool.

peace...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crusader_4
Pedro X thanks for the answer it had been something that was bugging me and i have always wanted to know. Thanks again!

-Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cmotherofpirl
They are not walled in, they are enclosed. They chosen to spend their lives praying for others. And its not so much they are locking themselves in, they are trying to keep the world OUT. It is not just a Middle Age thing, there are still orders today that are enclosed.

VERBI SPONSA
Instruction on the Contemplative Life and on the Enclosure of Nuns
John Paul II


"THE MEANING AND VALUE OF THE ENCLOSURE OF NUNS

In the mystery of the Son in his communion of love with the Father

3. In a specific and radical way, cloistered contemplatives conform to Christ Jesus in prayer on the mountain and to his Paschal Mystery, which is death for the sake of resurrection. (10)

The ancient spiritual tradition of the Church, taken up by the Second Vatican Council, explicitly connects the contemplative life to the prayer of Jesus “on the mountain”, (11) or solitary place not accessible to all but only to those whom he calls to be with him, apart from the others (cf. Mt 17:1-9; Lk 6:12-13; Mk 6:30-31; 2 Pt 1:16-18).

The Son is always united with the Father (cf. Jn 10:30; 17:11), but during his life there are special moments of solitude and prayer, encounter and communion, when he exults in his divine Sonship. In this way, he shows the loving impulse and ceaseless movement of his being as Son towards the One who begot him from all eternity.

This association of the contemplative life with the prayer of Jesus in a solitary place suggests a unique way of sharing in Christ's relationship with the Father. The Holy Spirit, who led Jesus into the desert (cf. Lk 4:1), invites the nun to share the solitude of Christ Jesus, who “with the eternal Spirit” (Heb 9:14) offered himself to the Father. The solitary cell, the closed cloister, are the place where the nun, bride of the Incarnate Word, lives wholly concentrated with Christ in God. The mystery of this communion is revealed to her to the extent that, docile to the Holy Spirit and enlivened by his gifts, she listens to the Son (cf. Mt 17:5), fixes her gaze upon his face (cf. 2 Cor 3:18), and allows herself to be conformed to his life, to the point of the supreme self-offering to the Father (cf. Phil 2:5 ff.), for the praise of his glory.

The enclosure therefore, even in its physical form, is a special way of being with the Lord, of sharing in “Christ's emptying of himself by means of a radical poverty, expressed in ... renunciation not only of things but also of "space", of contacts, of so many benefits of creation”, (12) at one with the fruitful silence of the Word on the Cross. It is clear then that “withdrawal from the world in order to dedicate oneself in solitude to a more intense life of prayer is nothing other than a special way of living and expressing the Paschal Mystery of Christ”. (13) It is a true encounter with the Risen Lord, a journey in ceaseless ascent to the Father's house.

In watchful waiting for the Lord's return, the cloister becomes a response to the absolute love of God for his creature and the fulfilment of his eternal desire to welcome the creature into the mystery of intimacy with the Word, who gave himself as Bridegroom in the Eucharist (14) and remains in the tabernacle as the heart of full communion with him, drawing to himself the entire life of the cloistered nun in order to offer it constantly to the Father (cf. Heb 7:25). To the gift of Christ the Bridegroom, who on the Cross offered his body unreservedly, the nun responds in like terms with the gift of the “body”, offering herself with Jesus Christ to the Father and cooperating with him in the work of redemption. Separation from the world thus gives a Eucharistic quality to the whole of cloistered life, since “besides its elements of sacrifice and expiation, [it assumes] the aspect of thanksgiving to the Father, by sharing in the thanksgiving of the beloved Son”. (15) "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×