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40 years later, is it time to reconsider the religious habit?


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4 hours ago, Gabriela said:

Reading some of the posts that talk about things religious women do, things religious women are called to, etc., I keep thinking: "Yeah, but we're ALL supposed to do that on account of our baptism." So maybe I should ask a more fundamental question:

What difference does taking religious vows make?

Once that's established, then I think we can better handle the question:

What role does the habit play in making that difference?

Isn't that like asking what difference does taking marriage vows make? [I guess it could be addressed in terms of the couple, to the wider family, to the Church, to God?] What difference does wearing a wedding ring make? etc

I'm not being critical, just noting the similarity in point.

My perspective would be the difference is in the way of life, the calling, which is framed by those specifc vows, as well as other aspects. The habit, or any sacred symbol employed, is an outward expression of the commitment and blessing bestowed on the person. It is a signpost of sorts, maybe even an outward boundary or line of enclosure in some situations. [Like the wedding ring sends out a signal too].

The baptismal calling is universal to all, a discipleship of the Gospel. In terms of religious this would be expressed in fidility to their vows, their community and their institutes constitutions. I would say religious see this way of life as simply their way of living out the universal call of the Gospel. However, it could be seen as being somewhat additional, or a higher demand, beyond that required of Baptism. I guess it's a matter of perspective, time and position.

I had to read Vita Consecrata last year. It covers some of these issues. I'm not saying I'm replicating those ideas here, but hopefully aspects of it filtered and stayed with me. I'd advise anyone to check it out though.

The biggest outward sign a person can offer is their own fidelity and joy to God for the bonds and vows they take, expressed in love and faith. That applies to all people, specific to their state of life.

A habit doesn't make a religious, it's a matter of mind and heart. Does a habit help a religious to live out their calling? That's the million dollar question, the trick question, without a single answer :smile2:

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Founders create, make decisions and set things up depending on the time in history and the place, context, culture etc in which they and their foundation live. At a later time and/or in a different pl

I just wanted to add that we also have Sister Christina as part of the vowed religious group in this discussion at least. You are right beatitude that the externals sometimes confuse the essentia

I'm glad Ignatius wrote what she did in response to this comment.  I do hope that in rereading it you see that there would have been a better way to express an opinion in favor of habits rather than p

39 minutes ago, Benedictus said:

A habit doesn't make a religious, it's a matter of mind and heart.

I think yours is a good post, but this right here is another thing that makes me think, "In that case, we could all be religious." I agree with your earlier point that it has something to do with a way of life. For example, if we take the (non-Benedictine) vows:

Poverty: We are all called through our baptism to not hoard wealth, but religious cannot even accumulate it (individually), whereas a non-religious can accumulate it and distribute it to the poor at will.

Chastity: We are all called to be chaste through our baptism, but religious are called to be celibately chaste, whereas as a non-religious can marry.

Obedience: We are all called to be obedient to God and Holy Mother Church through our baptism, but religious are called to be obedient to their superior, whereas a non-religious who is married must be obedient to his/her spouse, and a non-religious who is not married must be obedient to... well, just God and Holy Mother Church, I guess!

As for the Benedictine vows:

Stability of life: We are not called to this by our baptism, so far as I am aware. Religious who take this vow must remain in one house for life, but non-religious may move around as much as they like.

Conversion of manners: We are all called to this by our baptism, in precisely the same ways, so far as I understand this vow.

Obedience: Same as above.

So the differences, as I see it, are in:

1. the accumulation of individual wealth, although even this is limited for a non-religious, because one must not hoard or lack generosity or even keep more than one really needs

2. the form of chastity: celibate or not

3. to whom, specifically, one is obedient

4. stability in terms of living location

Anyone see anything in here that the habit is necessary for?

On another note: As I was doing the dishes this afternoon, it occurred to me that what I said earlier about needing a visual witness has "echos" in other Catholic teachings, like that on sacramentals. I was taught that, because we are human, we "physicalize" our spirituality, because we are embodied. I have heard this used as a justification to Protestants of Catholic practices like prayer before icons, lighting candles for the dead, incense and bells at Mass, the beauty of church buildings, etc. I remember also that, once, when I was in a monastery, I went to the communal rosary but forgot my rosary in my cell. No big deal, I thought, it's communal, so I'll just respond when they do and they'll count for me. I figured that was better than being late. But the novice mistress saw I was without a rosary, and she was concerned, because she thought I didn't have one. I said I do, I just forgot it in my room and didn't want to return to get it because I might arrive late. She went and got me a rosary, and as she handed it to me, she said, "It's very important to pray the rosary with an actual rosary in your hands so that you can feel the beads. Touching the beads itself has spiritual power and helps you to pray." And I thought, Yeah, cuz I'm embodied. Okay!

We don't object to sacramentals as physical manifestations or symbols or aids to our spiritual practices, and I have never heard a Catholic argue that we ought to do away with such things because "they're just externals, they don't really matter". To Catholics, such a thing would sound very Protestant. So why would someone make that argument about the habit?

Again, I'm not saying we ought demand that all religious wear the habit. I said I know some communities who have very good reasons for not wearing one. But those reasons are not, "it's just an external thing, it doesn't matter". To me, that seems like a very poor argument, especially if one accepts the parallel reasoning about sacramentals.

Speaking of which, isn't the habit itself considered a sacramental? I thought I heard someone say that somewhere... :idontknow:

Edited by Gabriela
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1 hour ago, Gabriela said:

I think yours is a good post, but this right here is another thing that makes me think, "In that case, we could all be religious." I agree with your earlier point that it has something to do with a way of life. For example, if we take the (non-Benedictine) vows:

Poverty: We are all called through our baptism to not hoard wealth, but religious cannot even accumulate it (individually), whereas a non-religious can accumulate it and distribute it to the poor at will.

Chastity: We are all called to be chaste through our baptism, but religious are called to be celibately chaste, whereas as a non-religious can marry.

Obedience: We are all called to be obedient to God and Holy Mother Church through our baptism, but religious are called to be obedient to their superior, whereas a non-religious who is married must be obedient to his/her spouse, and a non-religious who is not married must be obedient to... well, just God and Holy Mother Church, I guess!

I don't think God gives most people a religious calling, but he calls all of us to be more religious :smile2: I say I don't think simply by the reality that most people seem not attracted or able to live this way [plus I've a religious calling so how would I know:topsy:]

Some quick thoughts on the vows. It's important to aviod reductionist approaches in most regards. An important area of consideration is that of power and freedom, although there are other areas that could be addressed too.

The vows, in all three regards, have a physical/material aspect. But they also challenge/remove power dynamics and encourage a deeper freedom in us and our relationships. You are literally removing yourself from worldly dynamics and therefore allowing a greater closeness to others, an authentic presence and relationship, that can be enriched and sustained towards God.

Indeed, once these dynamics are removed we should be more pure of heart. The religious can, in this sense, create sacred space as a consecrated person and allow, through God, blessings to flow out to others. That, in turn, draws people and allows them to see clearly it is an attraction to God, not the person. The creative energy (sexual or otherwise) is to be directed to outlets that serve, uplift and empower others, imitating Christ. Obedience is mostly about listening to others, placing them before ourselves, and keeping fidelity to our duty, vows, bonds, charism etc. It has an impact on challenging the ego, pride and similar sins that seperate us from others and distort relationships etc.

In terms of the monastic vows, it's not by domain. But I know that the stability is more about forming and reforming onself in relation to others within the same community (rather than staying in a certain building). It's all a matter of emphasis and context, each life challenging and responding in a diversity of ways to serve and purify the heart for God.

I agree with much of what you said in the latter part of your post, and that's probably why I've a mixed view on habits. I have the same view in terms of liturgy: seeing forms as important (aspects that engage the senses of sight, touch, sound, smell etc) and convey and lift the spirit to God.

The challtenges in this regard also come post Vatican ll. I often understand why certain things changed but I think some aspects, if they didn't appreciate social psychology and cultural/personal identity, have contributed to anxiety and problems. Sometimes a medicine simply has too many side effects to deem it worthwhile at that dose.

p.s  had you noticed Jesuits in certain provinces have began wearing the clerical a lot more than they did? There has been an interesting trend towards using adhoc printed or emblem clothes too, especially to be more available in parishes/apostolates. They usually look cool, sort of like the WYD outfit designs. It has been largely an unofficial reaction to the general feeling for a greater visable witness that people can clearly see.

Edited by Benedictus
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The religious habit in one only very important aspect, for me, is that it is a witness.  When out and about and I spied a religious habit, it reminded me as a Catholic of my commitment to my Faith.  I think for those not Catholics and sighting a religious habit, the habit said "God" to them at the very least and probably "Catholic" too - and without saying a word at all.  I think it is very sad that a religious habit is a very rare sight now in Australia, while I understand and appreciate that there are very good reasons some religious orders have decided on secular clothing.

The aspect of witnessing is very important to me.  I used to wear a cross on a leather thong around my neck, but soon after I first met my SD, he commented that I looked like a nun and so I removed that cross and have never worn it again since.  I am not a nun and have no desire whatsoever to appear to be one in some way.  Nevertheless, I wish I could hit upon something that would not upset anyone and would state without words that I am a Catholic Christian.  I now wear a small cross on a silver chain ............ problem is that a cross on a chain has become in secular society an item of jewellery full stop.

How as lay people can we witness to our Faith without saying a word as Islamic women do for example by their veil.  Or perhaps such a witness is regarded as unnecessary - but I don't think that it is.  I do subscribe that our 'habit' should be habit-ual charity etc............but most often it takes time and a relationship on some level for others to realise through our behaviour that one is indeed Christian and Catholic.

As religious here in Australia seemed to be abandoning their religious habit and for sound reasons I know, I used to think "Why can't we as secular lay people adopt it and keep it alive and well in society!" :popcorn2:  Over time and probably much time, women for example in secular clothing with a brooche or cross on a chain would be regarded as religious, and those in religious type habits would be regarded as committed Catholic lay women.....for those who wanted to take the step.  Everything human has a beginning somewhere.

6 minutes ago, Benedictus said:

p.s  had you noticed Jesuits in certain provinces have began wearing the clerical a lot more than they did? There has been an interesting trend towards using adhoc printed or emblem clothes too, especially to be more available in parishes/apostolates. They usually look cool, sort of like the WYD outfit designs. I has been a largely unofficial reaction to the general feeling for a need for a greater visable witness that people can clearly see.

:like2:You were posting, Benedictus, as I was writing.

Edited by BarbaraTherese
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5 minutes ago, BarbaraTherese said:

The religious habit in one only very important aspect, for me, is that it is a witness.  When out and about and I spied a religious habit, it reminded me as a Catholic of my commitment to my Faith.  I think for those not Catholics and sighting a religious habit, the habit said "God" to them at the very least and probably "Catholic" too - and without saying a word at all.  I think it is very sad that a religious habit is a very rare sight now in Australia, while I understand and appreciate that there are very good reasons some religious orders have decided on secular clothing.

The aspect of witnessing is very important to me.  I used to wear a cross on a leather thong around my neck, but soon after I first met my SD, he commented that I looked like a nun and so I removed that cross and have never worn it again since.  I am not a nun and have no desire whatsoever to appear to be one in some way.  Nevertheless, I wish I could hit upon something that would not upset anyone and would state without words that I am a Catholic Christian.  I now wear a small cross on a silver chain ............ problem is that a cross on a chain has become in secular society an item of jewellery full stop.

How as lay people can we witness to our Faith without saying a word as Islamic women do for example by their veil.  Or perhaps such a witness is regarded as unnecessary - but I don't think that it is.  I do subscribe that our 'habit' should be habit-ual charity etc............but most often it takes time and a relationship on some level for others to realise through our behaviour that one is indeed Christian and Catholic.

As religious here in Australia seemed to be abandoning their religious habit and for sound reasons I know, I used to think "Why can't we as secular lay people adopt it and keep it alive and well in society!" :popcorn2:  Over time and probably much time, women for example in secular clothing with a brooche or cross on a chain would be regarded as religious, and those in religious type habits would be regarded as committed Catholic lay women.....for those who wanted to take the step.  Everything human has a beginning somewhere.

:like2:You were posting, Benedictus, as I was writing.

I thought of Muslims, especially women, after reading this. I think, especially in countries with larger Muslim populations, Catholics start asking why their religious are doing certain things when lay Muslims happily wear religious garb (and they don't have issues drawing people to them or to convert). There have been cases where people have wanted to find out about Islam because of the abuse some Muslims have got for religious dress when out and about etc.

It also wouldn't be the first time, especially when I was working in the UK, that this topic would come up and the Muslims would ask why Christians, even priests and nuns, looked and acted so secularized :cry3:

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34 minutes ago, Benedictus said:

I thought of Muslims, especially women, after reading this. I think, especially in countries with larger Muslim populations, Catholics start asking why their religious are doing certain things when lay Muslims happily wear religious garb (and they don't have issues drawing people to them or to convert). There have been cases where people have wanted to find out about Islam because of the abuse some Muslims have got for religious dress when out and about etc.

It also wouldn't be the first time, especially when I was working in the UK, that this topic would come up and the Muslims would ask why Christians, even priests and nuns, looked and acted so secularized :cry3:

I admire these Muslim women - they are always so polite and gentle, ladylike...........and a good witness, I think, to their religion.  And no two ways about it, one knows what they are all about (their religion) due to their appearance and a witness without a word.

Gold is wherever it is found!

48 minutes ago, Benedictus said:

There have been cases where people have wanted to find out about Islam because of the abuse some Muslims have got for religious dress when out and about etc.

All publicity is good publicity.  If one is abused in some way in public and for any reason actually, it is one's reaction that will speak far louder than the abuse especially if one's reaction is gentle and non aggressive......... .been there done that.

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On Fri Apr 01 2016 19:13:58 GMT-0700, beatitude said:

Mother Angelica wore a much simpler version of the habit until 1993. The habit she chose for her community in 1993 actually isn't traditional for Poor Clares. They have never worn that boxy white coif in all the centuries of their history, for example. To my knowledge it didn't appear until the 1800s and it's still not the norm for Poor Clares to wear it - you don't see it on the nuns at Roswell or Minooka, and they're as traditional and austere as they come. It certainly would have been strange to St Clare. But Mother Angelica wanted her community to provide a more striking visible witness - in her words, "to look Roman" - and that was understandable given the apostolate she had. She was running a Catholic TV station in a region of the US that is historically very Protestant. While I wouldn't argue with Mother Angelica's reasons for doing things her way in her community, I don't think this means that every other community needs to copy her, and I doubt she would have expected that herself.

Well I suppose she could have dressed herself in brown business attire passing as some form of habit...given the business she was running...but she didnt! (thank goodness) She chose a real nunny habit! ;) It may not be the common type of Poor Clare habit, but then again, Mother Angelica wasnt a common Poor Clare nun either! 

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8 hours ago, Gabriela said:

We don't object to sacramentals as physical manifestations or symbols or aids to our spiritual practices, and I have never heard a Catholic argue that we ought to do away with such things because "they're just externals, they don't really matter". To Catholics, such a thing would sound very Protestant. So why would someone make that argument about the habit?

Again, I'm not saying we ought demand that all religious wear the habit. I said I know some communities who have very good reasons for not wearing one. But those reasons are not, "it's just an external thing, it doesn't matter". To me, that seems like a very poor argument, especially if one accepts the parallel reasoning about sacramentals.

Speaking of which, isn't the habit itself considered a sacramental? I thought I heard someone say that somewhere... :idontknow:

Habits are blessed before they're given and I think they are a sacramental. There are also special prayers associated with each piece of the habit in many communities, so for a nun or a monk who wears the habit, prayer is woven into the process of getting dressed in the morning. There are Carmelites who always move their scapular out of the way before they sit down, out of respect. (I don't know if other scapular-wearing nuns have this custom too.) I think this is important. However, it's worth remembering that as Sr Mary Catharine says, the most distinctive habits have always been those of the nuns rather than the apostolic religious, and no one is going to be peering into the enclosure to see how the sisters sit down. Equally, my brown scapular is very precious to me, mostly because of the lovely prayer my confessor said over it as he blessed it, but no one but me ever sees it. So the habit is more for the sister's sake than the sake of those who see her, to help her with her own prayer and interior life. I think the habit is reduced to an external when people see it as like a Church billboard and nothing more, or treat it as important for its own sake. Sacramentals are powerful signs, but assigning them too much significance in and of themselves is like standing round looking at a signpost instead of following where the signpost is pointing.

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39 minutes ago, beatitude said:

Habits are blessed before they're given and I think they are a sacramental. There are also special prayers associated with each piece of the habit in many communities, so for a nun or a monk who wears the habit, prayer is woven into the process of getting dressed in the morning. There are Carmelites who always move their scapular out of the way before they sit down, out of respect. (I don't know if other scapular-wearing nuns have this custom too.) I think this is important. However, it's worth remembering that as Sr Mary Catharine says, the most distinctive habits have always been those of the nuns rather than the apostolic religious, and no one is going to be peering into the enclosure to see how the sisters sit down. Equally, my brown scapular is very precious to me, mostly because of the lovely prayer my confessor said over it as he blessed it, but no one but me ever sees it. So the habit is more for the sister's sake than the sake of those who see her, to help her with her own prayer and interior life. I think the habit is reduced to an external when people see it as like a Church billboard and nothing more, or treat it as important for its own sake. Sacramentals are powerful signs, but assigning them too much significance in and of themselves is like standing round looking at a signpost instead of following where the signpost is pointing.

Some truth I think in what you have said.  But if one is not happy with the road one is travelling and there are no signposts indicating the alternative and The Road?  I am a trained counsellor (in my twenties) and one does not have to mix out in the general community for very long without realising many are not happy with their road without being able to articulate it.

The religious habit probably has quite a few very good reasons and sound motivations behind it, of which for me witnessing without words is one of them and for me an important one (witnessing and without words if possible).  Undoubtedly a religious habit or some form of standard wear removes concerns about what to wear (perhaps especially where the female of the species is concerned).  The same clothing for all in a community also removes, in the main anyway, comparing oneself with others through externals or what  others are wearing compared to oneself.  I also tend to think that a habit or standard wear that pays attention to poverty and cost in the short term as well as the long term is probably far cheaper than a secular type wardrobe.........although I am a single celibate woman (private vows) and it took me quite a while to loose concern completely about the potential opinions of others related to the fact that I wear the same thing most always.  This addressed two factors on the spiritual level: concern for poverty and simple living - and concern for the opinions of others.  Firstly, I was able to focus on and address the problem of living with attention to poverty and simplicity.........and what came in the wake after quite some battles and arguments with myself was that I found eventually that I had lost all concern, in the main, about what others might think or not think and not only about what I wear (without getting into the ridiculous!).  And that was an unanticipated bonus.

The good thing about suffering a mental illness and related stigma is that one is going to 'wear it' anyway, so why not give others sound (rather than false) reasons for 'assigning it'.   It is perhaps very rare indeed (I have NEVER experienced it) where a negative situation does not have a corresponding positive if one looks for it.

______________

Edit:  Must add that stereotyping and stigma related to mental illness is most based on false and incorrect information.

http://www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au/mental_illness_and_health/mh_stigma.aspx

Edited by BarbaraTherese
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I would also mention that not all religious originally wore habits. The Sisters of St. Joseph did not when they were founded. Nor, as Benedictus mentioned, do the Jesuits. I find it interesting that some of the comments here suggest that the habit is more important to those who are NOT religious than to those who are. Hmmmm.... Can we all leave it to people to decide what best to wear? And can we assume that both those religious who do have distinctive garb and those who don't put a fair amount of thought, prayer, and discernment into their individual and communal decisions? 

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I am in Ireland and here I meet a Nun from an overseas Order living as a Solitary. We have talked about the habit many times.NB She wears the full monastic habit as does her order.   Ireland is a strange place for priests and religious these days. Very very rare to see the habit worn where used to  be seen all the time.  She has been assaulted, insulted, ostracised etc by victims of the widespread child abuse here. She is also there for many who simply love to see the habit,  and smiles when she tells me how long it takes her to shop in a supermarket as folk stop her and often share with her  heartbreaking things. Because she is visibly a woman of  prayer. She tells of  one day when she was in a small village far from home and a huge truck hit the brakes.. The driver leaned out and begged her,¨  Please pray for my son ; he is in trouble..¨ He believes in prayer, and saw the habit and knew he could ask, and went on his way comforted. And many times on her rare times from home the cry follows her, ¨  Say  a prayer for me...¨  Once as she was sitting by the Crib, a young woman sat by her who was deeply troubled and again, prayer and lovingkindness. An hour listening, and comforting.. Because of the habit.  Nuns are not ordinary women as that article expresses so wondrously. Love the ice cream story too! Blessed to give   

Sister says this when other Sisters in mufti stop her. ¨The habit is our availability and our vulnerability . And it is our identity in Jesus. ¨ Yes that witness is desperately needed in this sad world . Sure some will abuse that and when Sister first came here she started to think that until the shopping trips etc. It humbles her and affirms all the article says. After all, if we seek help when there is crime, we look for a police uniform.. .. The habit it seems to me also is part of the Vow of Poverty, for if the orders make their own they cost little and last many years.And of course long habits are kind to old  ladies....and no need to shop for clothes or visit hair salons 

But by far the most needful reason is the spiritual one. Have we lost that dimension in religious life? More than ever we need this. 

 

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i find it very interesting that in many men's communities there is this "flexibility" in wearing the habit. The franciscans and the dominicans in my country for instance, wear there habit always for prayer, but outside they can chose depending on the job that they do. 

for instance, one of them works in prison as a chaplain. He wears the habit to work, people can easily recognise him as "a man of God" and he says that it "works" for him.

Another one is a student and used to commute to university every day. When he wore the habit, people would come up to him to scream about how evil the church was. Apparently, people were so affraid(?) of him that no one wanted to sit next to him, or talk to him, and people would keep their children away (no joke, in my country the media is very critical of the church since the '60s and the sex abuse scandal hasn't helped...). So he stopped wearing the habit to university and wears normal, simple clothes with a big visible TAU-cross.

Does anyone know if there are other communities that do this? 

 

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4 hours ago, josephine said:

i find it very interesting that in many men's communities there is this "flexibility" in wearing the habit. The franciscans and the dominicans in my country for instance, wear there habit always for prayer, but outside they can chose depending on the job that they do. 

for instance, one of them works in prison as a chaplain. He wears the habit to work, people can easily recognise him as "a man of God" and he says that it "works" for him.

Another one is a student and used to commute to university every day. When he wore the habit, people would come up to him to scream about how evil the church was. Apparently, people were so affraid(?) of him that no one wanted to sit next to him, or talk to him, and people would keep their children away (no joke, in my country the media is very critical of the church since the '60s and the sex abuse scandal hasn't helped...). So he stopped wearing the habit to university and wears normal, simple clothes with a big visible TAU-cross.

Does anyone know if there are other communities that do this? 

 

Yes, it can vary between countries or provinces.The reasons, depending on the order and opinion, can vary. I know some Carmelities and  Benedictines do this as well. They wear the habit in church and monastery, and most outside ministry, but won't wear it if they're on errands or going into town for an appointment or to meet a friend etc. There is a degree of personal flexibility when to use it outside the enclosure etc.

There are criticisms of this though, mostly around only wearing the habit when it's not personally challenging or difficult. Some see it as the person indulging their ego, lacking humility and not facing reality if they remove the habit simply because of personal discomfort or if they wish not to witness to people. There is a big issue around whether the desire for anonymity can often be a fault that needs correcting. The opposite would also be true though, of course.

The flexibility around habit use, a compromise in some communities, may work well or not. The dynamics will vary.

Do religious always come at the issue of the habit with great intentions and are they always totally focused on the needs of others? No. I've heard a few say they're happy not to wear anything distinctive so as to not be drawn into talk or be bothered by the 'weird and wonderful' as they go about their business. Good intent should be assumed for a choice but sadly it's not always the case.

In terms of negative persecution and behavior - some people can't shy away from persecution because they are known by their faith and can't hide. I can see there would need to be precautions, even adaptions, for personal safety but I think something shouldn't be stopped simply to avoid difficulty. Do Muslim women remove distinctive garb simply because they get verbal abuse? Not typically. So why would a Catholic?

I don't know what country you're in but members of the public confronting someone like that should put them in the back of a police car on the way to jail. Certain sorts of conduct are tolerated in the US, to a level of excess I still find odd, compared to somewhere like the UK. Is the legal provision where you are a bit lax?

Edited by Benedictus
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I do know that the Baltimore Carmelite nuns do not wear a habit all the time, but they wear a white alb-like garment for Mass and other liturgies in the chapel. This, it seems to me, is another way of adapting the wearing of distinctive garb to the "signs of the times." 

This is a community which also allows lay people to join them in chapel, so it is clear when one attends Mass there who is in the community and who is not. I find the garment they wear to be very simple and appropriate.... Again, this is NOT to judge either them or communities who wear a habit all the time....

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On 4/18/2016, 2:40:45, anchoress said:

"¨The habit is our availability and our vulnerability . And it is our identity in Jesus. ¨ 

 

As a mother of two daughters who wear habits, that statement beautifully captures the sentiment that I am seeing in both of their orders.

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