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To all the cool kids out there... - it was great when it all began...
stay sane inside insanity
kitt3h
kitt3h
To all the cool kids out there...
How is it that I live with four other girls but it seems like none of them are home right now? Maybe it's just because it's a Friday night and I'm just a tad lame...not that I'm complaining. If I were constantly surrounded by all four of them I'd probably go nuts.

That said, I am indeed alive and still exist on the interwebs. Almost two weeks ago I got back from my aspirancy with the cloistered Dominican nuns of the Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Farmington Hills, MI. It was basically a time where I got to live with them inside the enclosure and follow their schedule and do what they did, including participating in all of their communal prayers, Mass, chores, classes, and recreation time. It was pretty awesome. I don't know if many people would feel the same if they weren't called to this vocation, so I'm taking that as a pretty solid sign that I am. That said, it really did feel like home while I was there, and all the nuns seemed to like me very well. We also got to meet some Dominican novices with their novice master (they're the ones in the very front who look more like the strapping, young lads they are compared to the older fellows. The novice master is the dude on the far right). They got to come inside the cloister and join us for the rogation procession, and it was exciting because my mind defaults to a strict, nuns-only (except for me...) sense of the enclosure (even though there are exceptions that currently apply in that community on a pretty much daily basis), and here were some cute, celibate boys (ok, young men) and their novice master joining us for our rogation procession on a beautiful day. It was all very congenial, and a little adorable because you could tell it was their first time inside a women's monastery ;)

I'm working on my application now, and the two main bumps ahead in the paperwork are my autobiography and the report from my physical. Then of course I have to take care of my loans (either pay them off or find sponsors or get accepted for a loan fund or something) and my material possessions etc. It's a mixed bag as far as support goes because my dad and grandma support me (even though they're Protestants) but my mom is almost vehemently opposed. Her husband is supporting her and doesn't necessarily agree with my position, but is not violently against it, either. Despite this, though, my mom is still being very loving to me, everything considered. Most of the people I know who have offered any kind of opinion about this are in favor--even curiously so--with the exception of some Protestant friends who, perhaps implicitly, have insisted that I can't serve people or God as well as I could or should cooped up behind cloister walls for the rest of my life. Oh well.

I hope things are well for everyone. I'll be praying for you all. Feel free to leave requests if you'd like, even if that's not usually your thing <3

Humeur actuelle: happy happy

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talinthas From: talinthas Date: le 29 mai 2010 07:19 (UTC) (Lien)
I'm glad you've found your place in life and in religion =)
what exactly does a cloistered nun do?
kitt3h From: kitt3h Date: le 29 mai 2010 16:49 (UTC) (Lien)
Thanks =)

Cloistered nuns, in a nutshell, live a llife of prayer and sacrifice in adherence of the evangelical consitutions of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Active sisters and nuns (who aren't cloistered) are also called to such a life, but the contemplative lives it in a much more radical way, restricted to the confines of papal enclosure for pretty much her entire life, with some exceptions. More specifically, cloistered nuns (and priests, and monks, and other religious communities) are required to pray all seven hours of the Divine Office/Liturgy of the hours, each hour being comprised of a number of psalms, hymns, prayers, and Biblical/Pratristic readings. They also generally keep a strict silence when not in choir or at recreation, and are asked only to break it when required by work or charity.

In between praying the Divine Office (most hours fully sung in choir)and Mass, cloistered nuns engage in some kind of work that might include chores or making/distributing goods for part of the financial upkeep of the monastery. A significant amount of time (perhaps a total of about two scheduled hours a day) is also alloted to private prayer/study/writing/scripture reading. The community I visited also prays the rosary together every evening. One characteristic of the Dominican Order is also prayer for the dead, so every day before the midday meal the nuns process from the choir to the refectory praying the De Profundis (Psalm 130), and once a week (on 'quiet Wednesday', if I remember correctly) they perform suffrages for the dead, in the form of either praying a portion of the penitential psalms or praying an additional rosary. Something specific to this particular community is also perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, so the Eucharist is always exposed in the monstrance in chapel and there is always at least one sister keeping Jesus company in prayer (including during the night, when those who are able take turns praying for an hour at a time). On most days there is also usually about 1-2 hours of recreation time depending on the day and possibly the liturgical season, when the sisters can play games and chat with each other and things like that. The main aspect of a cloistered nun's life, however, isn't what she does or does not do, but the spirit of sacrifice and love in which she does it.

Hopefully that answered your question and wasn't too rambling. If you'd like to check it out, there is also a fairly thorough explanation of cloistered life on the website =)
talinthas From: talinthas Date: le 30 mai 2010 04:32 (UTC) (Lien)
fascinating.
So you mention a few times praying this psalm or that one. what does that mean? recitation? how does one pray the psalms or divine office anyway?

In my culture, it's all about reading, reciting, and chanting.
kitt3h From: kitt3h Date: le 30 mai 2010 20:13 (UTC) (Lien)
Yeah, that's pretty much it. During the Divine Office the community I visited (and most other, especially, I think, Dominicans) sings through the psalms almost exclusively (maybe once or twice during the day they might just kind of prayerfully read through them). The day opens with the call "Lord, open my lips" and then the response "and my mouth shall proclaim your praise" and an antiphon followed by the introductory psalm (which can change from day to day among a select few), which is closed with the "glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen" and the antiphon being repeated. The hour/office then begins with a hymn that is followed by the psalmody (psalms and canticles with apporpriate antiphons and readings). In the monastery the office is usually sung in call/response fashion, so that one side of the choir will sing the first half of a strophe and the other half will respond with the remainder. For the laity and others who pray the Office it may be sung in similar fashion, quietly read, or prayerfully recited. The idea I suppose is just that you are taking a prayerful attitude in reading/reciting/chanting the psalms rather than analyzing them in a scholarly or similar fashion.

For the De Profundis procession, though, they kind of just read it slowly and prayerfully, probably in part because they have to walk and read at the same time.

Some communities pray the psalms/office in Latin as well. Really it varies widely, but I guess that's a general idea of how it works.
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