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Sisters Without Habits?


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Careful here... he is not greater among equals or most honored of equals... that is an Orthodox position. The Catholic position is that he is the Vicar of Christ, above all other bishops. You are, however, on the road to having a better understanding of what "bride of Christ" means. There is a common bridal relationship of various grades and kinds, and a sacramental bridal relationship to Christ. There is a common priesthood and a sacramental priesthood of Christ. By baptism, people are priest/prophet/king and bride... through common participation. And through the conferral of Orders a man is made a priest/prophet/king and by conferral of consecration a virgin is made a bride.

 

Actually, the Church calls ALL Bishops Vicars of Christ (cf Lumen Gentium, 27 where it refers to all Bishops as vicars and ambassadors of Christ). John Paul II cites this same passage in Ut Unum Sint, where he writes, [[ 95. All this however must always be done in communion. When the Catholic Church affirms that the office of the Bishop of Rome corresponds to the will of Christ, she does not separate this office from the mission entrusted to the whole body of Bishops, who are also "vicars and ambassadors of Christ". The Bishop of Rome is a member of the "College", and the Bishops are his brothers in the ministry.]] Vatican II's emphasis on collegiality is an important one, and not one we can lose sight of in making assertions about the position of the Pope. As Benedict XVI said, [[I "The Second Vatican Council has taught us rightly, that collegiality is constitutive for the structure of the church, that the pope can only be as the first among equals, and not someone who as an absolute monarch would make the decisions, and everything alone."]]

 

Sincerely,

Sister Laurel M O'Neal, Er Dio

Stillsong Hermitage

http://notesfromstillsong.blogspot.com

Edited by SRLAUREL
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Thanks Sister Laurel and SrKateri and everyone else for offering your opinions on this.    I have a question that I already have an answer to in my mind having already made vows as a religious siste

Some times y'all make me want to cry.... Poor Jesus having to listen to all this hair splitting when we could all just be using this time simply loving Him and each other together. :console:  Now That

1. St. Catherine was a Dominican tertiary -- but so are the Nashville Dominicans and the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Third Order Religious (as we know them today -- and this

If a woman wants to wear the habit for reasons related to vanity then I agree that I would rather see a Sister in jeans and a t-shirt ministering to those in need.  However, the habit fulfills all three vows in its own way.  The vows obviously go beyond simply what the woman wears.  St. Therese loved her habit and still underwent a deep spiritual battle to overcome her sins and is the great saint we know and love today.  She fulfilled the vows in the way she dressed and in the way she lived.  I am by no means condemning any Sister whose community doesn't wear a habit.  I 100% agree that the way we live is more important than what we wear.  There are Sisters who dress in secular clothing and are very devoted to living for Christ.

 

This comes from the SSVM website:

 

"In each Servant there should be a love for her Habit, it should be like her skin, so that united to the Incarnate Word, who united Heaven and Earth, she may flower into all kinds of good works and be for all the good scent of Christ (2 Cor 2:15)."
(Fr. Buela, IVE, Las Servidoras, Tomo I).

 

It's just my personal opinion that the habit is an instant witness.  Anybody could serve those in need without passerby knowing that they do so for love of Christ.  Seeing the habit tells people that this is a woman dedicated to Christ.  If a Sister is in secular clothing, people might be inspired by her outreach but unless they talk to her they might just think she's a caring woman without ever knowing what motivates her.  And the only reason I think that young Sisters are such a powerful witness is because most people don't realize that young women still enter religious Orders today.  I also agree that older Sisters are tremendously inspiring because they've lived out their whole lives for Christ.  Each woman needs to discern which community God is calling her to, and whether the community wears a habit or not, so long as God wills her to be there, she will change lives.   :saint2:

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Some times y'all make me want to cry.... Poor Jesus having to listen to all this hair splitting when we could all just be using this time simply loving Him and each other together. :console:  Now That I think would bring true joy to his heart!

 

Back to my prayer :paperbag:

 

 

I think you misunderstand the motivations for these posts. Discussion is not contrary to loving Christ nor each other. Coming to clarity and allowing truth to predominate is hardly unloving or unprayerful. The use of habits is actually a complicated (ambiguous) reality and we should not idealize it. THAT would be unloving. I very much appreciate the responses that have shared the way the habit functions in someone's thought and life and also the tenor of the conversation. I think quite a lot of prayer is evident in these exchanges and I think Jesus is clearly present in them.

 

Sincerely,

Sister Laurel M O'Neal, Er Dio

Stillsong Hermitage

Diocese of Oakland

http://notesfromstillsong.blogspot.com

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Actually I sort of agree with Indwelling Trinity.  There comes a point in time where clarifications upon clarifications seems like nit picking (hair splitting as IT said).  It can seem to go to the point of the "latin vs. vernacular" or "communion in hand vs tongue" (and other) discussion.  Charity can abound ... true, and it can be cordial, true ... but the back and forth can be a bit much at times.

 

This topic has been discussed much in previous threads.

 

And finally -- there does come the point in time where people need to say "ok ... we agree to disagree" instead of discussing things ad nauseum.  This is VS, not debate table.

 

Now ... if someone decides to do "Debate table -- VS Style" for all Vocation related issues that can be debated, then by all means.  Then those of us who need to can choose to stay away (instead of having to stay away from all of VS, or entering a thread, reading, and realizing oops, I should have not gone in there).

 

Indwelling Trinity -- you have been missed.  :)

 

Edited by cmariadiaz
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If a woman wants to wear the habit for reasons related to vanity then I agree that I would rather see a Sister in jeans and a t-shirt ministering to those in need.  However, the habit fulfills all three vows in its own way.  The vows obviously go beyond simply what the woman wears.  St. Therese loved her habit and still underwent a deep spiritual battle to overcome her sins and is the great saint we know and love today.  She fulfilled the vows in the way she dressed and in the way she lived.  I am by no means condemning any Sister whose community doesn't wear a habit.  I 100% agree that the way we live is more important than what we wear.  There are Sisters who dress in secular clothing and are very devoted to living for Christ.

 

This comes from the SSVM website:

 

"In each Servant there should be a love for her Habit, it should be like her skin, so that united to the Incarnate Word, who united Heaven and Earth, she may flower into all kinds of good works and be for all the good scent of Christ (2 Cor 2:15)."
(Fr. Buela, IVE, Las Servidoras, Tomo I).

 

It's just my personal opinion that the habit is an instant witness.  Anybody could serve those in need without passerby knowing that they do so for love of Christ.  Seeing the habit tells people that this is a woman dedicated to Christ.  If a Sister is in secular clothing, people might be inspired by her outreach but unless they talk to her they might just think she's a caring woman without ever knowing what motivates her.  And the only reason I think that young Sisters are such a powerful witness is because most people don't realize that young women still enter religious Orders today.  I also agree that older Sisters are tremendously inspiring because they've lived out their whole lives for Christ.  Each woman needs to discern which community God is calling her to, and whether the community wears a habit or not, so long as God wills her to be there, she will change lives.   :saint2:

 

Dear Sister,

 

I would agree with this almost 100%. The point about instant witness underscores one of the reasons I choose to wear a habit. I feel less in agreement over the issue of young Sisters (though I am admittedly somewhat cynical about a generation which often seems self-centered) and I have come to be less concerned about wondering what motivates a woman who loves others. If she truly loves, then it is inspired by God and I honor that --- especially since she is doing so without special garb, etc. I don't personally understand Sisters who choose to be "anonymous" and not let people know they are consecrated women, but I am also clear that my lack of understanding tends to underscore my own limitations, not her's. When I learn to look carefully beyond the superficial in a given situation, I am actually impressed by what these Sisters show me and what dimensions of consecrated life they DO witness to.

 

all my best,

Sister Laurel M O'Neal, Er Dio

Stillsong Hermitage

Diocese of Oakland

http://notesfromstillsong.blogspot.com

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My take would this be that if they are faithfulto the teachings of the Church, love the Holy Father, got a burning desire to evangelise and convert souls back to God, is faithful to the charism and mission which they have been founded I have no problem whether with them even if they are on street clothes. 

 

Take a look on this sisters:

http://www.apostlesofil.com/?page_id=136

 

and you will find a lot of information on their website

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My take would this be that if they are faithfulto the teachings of the Church, love the Holy Father, got a burning desire to evangelise and convert souls back to God, is faithful to the charism and mission which they have been founded I have no problem whether with them even if they are on street clothes. 

 

Take a look on this sisters:

http://www.apostlesofil.com/?page_id=136

 

and you will find a lot of information on their website

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Sisters/Nuns no habits?....How about priests, bishops, the POPE in secular clothes??? AHHH..NO!

 

Comments like this are the reason that this thread keeps going and the topic about this keep appearing.  I don't think that this comment was made with bad intention but I don't think it offers any substance to this conversation.  I think that your perspective could have been better expressed had you said you prefer sisters and nuns to wear habits and priests, bishops and the pope not to wear secular clothing if you said why, or addressed some of the things other people said, or spoke about your own personal experiences.  All of us then could look at your opinions, experiences, and thoughts and be enriched by them and could learn something from you.  I would still be interested in hearing why you feel the way you do if you want to engage in a conversation about it. :)     

 

Vocation Station should be a place for ALL people to be able to discern a vocation - not just those who fit into one mindset and mode. I expect when I post that, although there will be disagreements with what I say, those disagreements will be accompanied by respectful dialogue.  Only in that kind of communication can we speak with charity in our mutual journeys with God.  When I disagree I try to do it with respect.  I fail sometimes and, of course, the internet is not the best for conveying tone, but hopefully we can assume good intentions from one another.  Earlier I asked if someone could provide me with a link or place I could find reference to the "wedding dress" symbolism in a church document.  It's fine if no one does but I hope that was seen as an effort to understand something which personally doesn't speak to me.  It isn't a call to debate or hair splitting but an honest attempt to learn about something that I have seen spoken about so many times on VS.

 

I hope my post did not seem like I was trying to split hairs because that was not my goal.  My goal was to simply share my own journey in religious life so far and what the habit means or doesn't mean to me personally.  It is always good to be able to learn and grow from the perspectives of others which is why in the beginning of my last post I thanked those who had already offered opinions because, even if I don't agree, I still value the experiences of that person where they are right now. 

 

I think it is interesting that habits are the subject of sooooo many threads in this phorum but I have rarely seen one that delves into poverty, chastity, obedience, life in common, or the apostolate with the same fervor, detail, and passion as the habit conversation receives when they are much more important than the habit is in religious life.

 

I truly do not want to debate or nit-pick.  I want to be able to talk and learn from one another in this phorum.  One very important thing to be able to do in religious life is to deal with people who you don't agree with; whether they are other sisters or the people with whom or to whom one is ministering.  If you cannot do that you will find religious life very difficult and so will the people who have to live or work with you.

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Sister Marie -- your post (to me) did not seem like debate/nit pick. 

 

My comments really was an overall comment ... and I am probably right now oversensitive to the whole debate issue.  There are a number of more recent threads that the back and forth has been ridiculous.  I used to reside in VS *because* the debates did not occur. 

 

I 100% wholeheartedly agree with Sr, Marie on this -- VS should be a place where ALL discerners, regardless of the traditionality of the institute, should feel safe to dwell/participate.

 

Someone discerning their call to the Sisters of St. Joseph should feel as welcomed as someone discerning their call to enter the SSVMs.  And each person should be RESPECTED for their discernment, regardless of anyone's personal feelings towards the communities.  Besides -- the ultimate say as far as a community's status belongs to the Church (at the Pontifical or Diocesan level depending on the stage that the community is in).

 

Same goes to the possible discernment of state ... consecrated virginity vs. single life vs. hermit consecration vs. religious life vs. secular institute vs. private vows vs. marriage (and for men, priesthood vs. diaconate).  Each is different.  To discuss the differences is fine ... but it starts going towards a debate when discussions like "I question whether xxxx group is still living the spirit of canon xxx" or "yyy is a higher calling" or "private vows is not a consecration" occurs.

 

I apologize if I shouldn't be bring the whole debate issue into this thread ... but really, I miss the old VS.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading and participating in here.  And I have taken several breaks from VS due to the debating/nitpicking/heated discussions that have developed.  I take a 90% break from debate table (going in very rarely, and abstaining from posting 99% of the time)

 

If you want to debate an issue such as "should religious wear a habit" or "is ______ a higher calling" then take it to debate table.  You can then put a link in here so that others who normally hang out in VS can go there to post.  That also gives more freedom -- you CAN debate the issue (keeping charity in mind).    That also gives those of us (including me) who do not like debates the chance to bow out before reading, or at least gives the reader the "warning danger roger" heads up by simply putting it in that bucket.

Edited by cmariadiaz
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I post this, not because I think all nuns or sisters should wear a habit, but because it is such a personal statement about what the habit means to this nun.

 

The Monastic Habit by Dame Catherine Wybourne

 

I think also that whether or not to wear a habit is a decision that the women living this life need to make for themselves and that the people who are outside looking in need to turn their focus on to other things.

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