A joyous young woman enters Carmel

This is pretty cool. A friend alerted me to this video of a young woman entering a Carmel.

 

More HERE.

You young women out there, think about it.

I don’t think that God is calling fewer women per capita to religious life than He did before. Fewer can hear it for the din of modern life and the horrid expectations and images placed in women’s minds and hearts in this twisted world.

In each age since Christ’s Ascension, people have felt they were in the End Times. They were right. In any moment, when the conditions are right, the Lord could return.

Considering what is happening in the world now, I am pushed to think about the way Mass is being celebrated, even the number of Masses being celebrated. Many more people went to confession.

Once there were many communities of contemplatives, spending time before the Blessed Sacrament or in contemplation, in collective and in private prayer.

Who can know how they lifted burdens from the world and turned large and small tides by their prayers to God for mercy and in reparation for sin?

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39 Responses to A joyous young woman enters Carmel

  1. MmeScherzo says:

    If I had it to do over again, I would have become a Catholic shortly after my birth and entered a Carmel.

  2. kay says:

    I went to all girl Catholic high school and when I told my mother I wanted to become a nun she said we’d have a talk later when I knew what none meant. I’m serious. She dissuaded me from following that path and even though I’ve now been married for 23 years I’ve still felt a pull toward GOD first. Too late for me to be a nun but I serve HIM whenever HE calls which is hard to hear, as Father Z says, with all the stuff going on 24/7 today, which is why I ask GOD to give me a life where I have peace and quiet so I can be with HIM for the times I am not with my husband. Its worked out so far.

  3. NBW says:

    Jesus,THE perfect Spouse in every way!

  4. lmgilbert says:

    “Once there were many communities of contemplatives, spending time before the Blessed Sacrament or in contemplation, in collective and in private prayer.” Yes, to take one example, St. Bernard founded 163 monasteries of Cistercian monks in his lifetime, which by his death numbered 343.

    Yet this did not just happen. He preached religious life as a surer way to get to Heaven. On Matthew 17:4 “It is good for us to be here,” he preached, “Nonne haec est Religio sancta, pura, et immaculata: in qua homo vivit purius, cadit rarius, surgit velocius, incedit cautius, irrogatur frequentius, quiescit securius, moritur fiducius, purgatur citius, praemiatur copiosius?” It is amazing, it is utterly stupefying that so far as I have heard no one is saying anything of the kind today. Not bishops, not priests, not vocation directors, and certainly not Cistercian monks! No, “the universal call to holiness” has come into theological and pastoral fashion and it is considered very bad form to say that religious life offers a surer way to Heaven.

    For a monk to say that monasticism is a superior form of life would be considered triumphalism, by himself most of all. By way of contrast I remember Mary Martin in the musical fantasy Peter Pan singing, “I gotta crow!!!” whereas out here in reality for someone to “crow” as did St. Bernard and so inspire throngs of young men and women to follow his example and so go to their deaths singing the praises of God, it would be simply unbelievable. Or so it seems.

    Yet, in actual fact, I wonder. In many ways the stage is set for just such a person to appear on the scene and sweep many young people into repentance ( for there is a lot to repent of, and many people to repent) and into consecrated life.

  5. gretchengr says:

    Her mother brought me to tears. And the father seemed concerned about his wife. Surely they will be blessed.

  6. Rachel says:

    I love the song they sing as she reaches the gate– “Nada Te Turbe”, based on St. Teresa of Avila’s words. Here’s a version with English translation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvfTVxgkWpo

  7. AVL says:

    oh my goodnes… tears!!! the sight of the sister all lined up in hoods to receive her gave me the chills (do they hood because they are cloistered?), and her mom’s sobs made me tear up. But she seemed to happy to enter. The songs of the priests were also beautiful and I feel blessed to understand the prayer they were singing, soooo moving!!

  8. alnleash says:

    The streams continued uncontrollably from my eyes as I watched, completely engulfed, one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever witnessed. Indeed, her mother’s lament of having to say farewell tugged at my heart, but that was dwarfed by the young woman’s joyful confidence of continting her steps through the gate towards the awaiting sisters. Kneeling for a few last blessings was yet another heart warming moment. Thank you for sharing, Father. I will be sharing this with my 3 school age sons.

  9. vetusta ecclesia says:

    The desolation on the faces of the parents tells you all you need to know about parental sacrifice. I am in my 70s but I have a similar vivid memory of my parents when my 21 yo sister entered an enclosed cloister. I was 11.

  10. PA mom says:

    This is SO BEAUTIFUL!

    We have Carmelites near us, and I deeply wish they could come out long enough to share with us their vocation stories.

    As I was checking in on the the other day, I saw another convent in Pa and decided to see what they were up to.

    http://lorettocarmel.org/

    Turns out they have done some serious beautifying, replacing their hideous altar and tabernacle (oh, the spirit of VII! Pictures on the site.), and adding statues in their end of their chapel.

    In return, they have been blessed with a new NOVICE!

    Fr Z, you are so right. It isn’t magic. Do what should be done and they will come!

  11. robtbrown says:

    Imgilbert,

    The problem is not the Universal Call to Holiness, which was promoted by Fr Garrigou LaGrange. Rather, the problem is that it has been misunderstood to mean that the religious life is not especially oriented toward holiness. Such a misunderstanding drains the meaning from vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.

  12. APX says:

    do they hood because they are cloistered?
    They’re not hoods, but rather face veils. They have more than one veil, one being designed with a fold at the front that they pull down over their faces whenever they have to leave the cloister, be around those who aren’t cloistered (ie: workmen, guests, etc), or my personal favourite, after receiving communion in order to have a more intimate thanksgiving and conversation with Jesus.

    I was actually surprised they had them, as they were a thing of pre-Vatican II reforms along with double grilles with the curtain in the parlor. I didn’t think there were Carmels that still made use of them. Does anyone know which Carmel this is?

    I wish some of the Carmels from the US that are not under the reformed constitutions (which St. Teresa of Avila gave strict instruction not to change) would expand into Canada. I believe they’re the 1991 Constitutions and not the relaxed 1990 Constitutions. The US Religious visa seems to be a hurdle that some Carmels just don’t want to jump through. Buffalo is the only Carmel that hasn’t made an issue out of the Visa requirement. I know we have some old convents that are empty, a number of which were sold to Muslims for schools.

    Jesus,THE perfect Spouse in every way!
    Yes, indeed! The mother-in-law is pretty great too!

  13. APX says:

    Sorry, I made an error.

    It’s the 1990 Constitutions that are faithful to the original constitutions set out by St. Teresa of Avila. Carmela under the 1990 constitutions are directly under the Holy See, where as the Carmels Under the 1991 constitutions are under the Carmelite Friars (who got a little bit caught up in the Spirit of Vatican II).

  14. Matilda P says:

    To follow up on lmgilbert’s observation that it is considered bad form to call religious life a surer way to heaven, and hardly anyone talks about it that way, I present a lovely thing I stumbled upon the other day, a homily from St Michael’s Abbey,

    https://stmichaelsabbey.com/choose-your-own-vocation

    I quote:
    ‘St. Benedict did not have to become a monk. He chose to. He could have chosen some other good thing instead. The truth is that each of us, by nature, is called to marriage and family. I also, a celibate priest-monk, have a “vocation to marriage” according to what God has given me by nature. And God’s invitation to the monastic life as a religious brother is not merely some private, special thing for a select few. It’s a public invitation, written in the Gospel: “Come, follow me. Let anyone accept this who can.” So, if you can and you want to, dude, just ask your girlfriend to marry you. If you can and you want to, just apply to enter a monastery. You don’t need any special excuse or fireworks, for God has revealed in the Gospel that it’s a good thing to do.’

  15. Matilda P says:

    (Of course, it’d be prudent to add that one might be wasting the graces of a religious vocation if he did ask that girlfriend to marry him and she said yes.)

  16. APX says:

    Matilda,

    Just as conversely, if one entered religious life and made final vows, but didn’t actually have a vocation to religious life, and thus didn’t receive the graces of a religious vocation, religious life could be the means of their damnation. As St. Paul said, it’s better to marry than to burn.

  17. jlong says:

    APX, I believe it is the actual convent of Saint Theresa, Convento de la Encarnación in Avila

  18. lmgilbert says:

    Matilda P. —Thanks very much for that link! As you say, there Fr. Maximilian writes:

    “And God’s invitation to the monastic life as a religious brother is not merely some private, special thing for a select few. It’s a public invitation, written in the Gospel: “Come, follow me. Let anyone accept this who can.”

    Now, while I agree with robtbrown that the universal call to holiness has been misunderstood, it nevertheless is a widespread, deeply embedded misunderstanding that is killing us. It needs to be corrected or offset by something just as pithy.

    Based on the Scripture that Fr. Maximilian quotes and several others (Matt 19:21, Matt 19:29, Luke 18:22), what is to stop bishops, priests, directors of vocations trumpeting —and soon—the “Universal Call to Consecrated Life”?

    Seriously, besides lethargy, human respect, alarm, inertia, a false understanding of prudence, what is standing in the way? Nothing Scriptural, nothing from the Fathers, nothing magisterial.

  19. PTK_70 says:

    Thank you for sharing that excerpt from a priest-monk’s homily, Matilda P!

    What is so apparent in the video is how the event has community interest and support. The *townfolk* are behind this young woman entering a Carmel, literally and figuratively. This is not a private event. Those in attendance, I’m sure, include more than church mice and blog readers. The apparent vigor of the Carmel, the joy of the young woman, the support from the community….all are part and parcel, I surmise, of a deep and rich and pervasive Catholic culture.

    Having visited the Carmel at Lisieux, my feeling is that it truly forms a part of the town’s identity.

  20. lmgilbert says:

    Matilda’s link to St. Michael’s Abbey and the homily by Fr. Maximilian warrants a much closer look. It is pretty astonishing from several standpoints.

    1. For one thing, Fr. Maximilian ‘s homily was linked from the Vocations page of St. Michael’s Abbey (a Norbertine abbey in Orange County California) and listed as “A Helpful Homily.” This abbey is daring to give potential recruits some pretty astonishing advice by current standards.

    2. For example, in this homily he dares to compare monastic life to married life and to say that monastic life is better! This just is not done. Read, and give praise to God: ” One last point: I said that you were free to choose between the good life of marriage or the good life of the monastery. I didn’t say that they were equally good. For over a thousand years the monks and canons and friars have been the guardians of wisdom and charity in the Catholic Church. It’s obvious to everyone that it’s far easier to become far holier if you dedicate your life to it in a monastery. We’ll live in heaven for an eternity longer than we’ll live on earth, so it’s better to live the way that’s more heavenly”

    3. What is this but a modern and more prolix version of St. Bernard’s theme:

    “In religious life one lives more purely,
    Falls more rarely,
    Rises more promptly,
    Advances more surely,
    Receives more graces,
    Reposes more serenely,
    Dies more calmly,
    Is cleansed more quickly,
    And in Heaven receives a greater reward” ?

    4. Is it coincidence, then, that on the “Who We Are” page of this abbey’s website, we find the following information: “Our abbey here in Orange consists of nearly fifty priests and thirty seminarians studying for the priesthood”? Maybe you can think of another abbey ( Benedictine, Cistercian, Camaldolese, Carmelite) in the United States or anywhere in the WORLD that has similar statistics. I cannot. And why are they in this position? One would guess that their theology of vocation has everything to do with it, a theology that they are not afraid to promulgate.

    Reading this one begins to wonder if the “vocations crisis” is largely a theological crisis, a crisis of confidence, a failure to preach the Gospel as given to us by Jesus Christ.

  21. Nicolas Bellord says:

    Under the new rules which require nine years before taking final vows St Therese of Lisieux would have only just scraped through six months before her death but then to-day a Pope would certainly not have allowed her to enter a Carmel at the age of 15. O brave new world.

  22. Benedict Joseph says:

    One can only hope Carmel will survive under the new assault from Rome. It did not weather as well as one would have hoped after the sixties.
    God reward and preserve this young woman, her family, the community who has received her, and all authentic and faithful monastic communities.

  23. APX says:

    APX, I believe it is the actual convent of Saint Theresa, Convento de la Encarnación in Avila

    I was wondering what became of her convent after Vatican II and the reforms. Unfortunately, the monasteries where St. Therese and St. Teresa of the Los Andes came from fell into a more relaxed religious life.

    I can’t think of a religious order that has more canonized saints than the Carmelites, so why on earth anyone would want to depart from what has stood the test of time and made saints is beyond me.

    Imgilbert,

    While I can’t speak to the male side of the Carmelite order, on the women’s side their constitutions do not permit more than 21 professed nuns (this was written into the original constitutions by St. Teresa herself), unless there are imminent plans to start another monastery.

    To those who are called to religious life, it is a very great grace indeed, but it’s not an easy life (at least it shouldn’t be if a community is doing it right), and requires much grace to be faithful in reaching perfection.

    Religious life is a state of perfection and those who are called to religious life are required to achieve a higher degree of perfection than someone who has not entered a state of perfection (ie: marriage). Entering into a cloister is supposed to take care of keeping the things of the world out (unfortunately, this isn’t so much the case anymore), in order to allow one to work at dealing with and perfecting what’s on the inside (which isn’t particularly enjoyable, and is actually quite painful).

    Furthermore, everything that a religious does and receives is not for her, but rather for the sanctification of others. If a religious receives the gift of contemplation and ascends to the highest degree, it’s only to help sustain her for the crosses and suffering to come. Jesus, the Beloved Bridegroom, doesn’t give His brides some fancy Diamond Solitaire Ring as mere mortal bridegrooms do. No, the ring He gives is Suffering. His spouses know this and willingly embrace such a life for the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of priests and out of love for their Beloved.

    St. Teresa of Avila’s motto for her nuns was “to prefer to either suffer or to die”.

    I really hope this woman makes it to the end faithfully, if she is indeed called to Carmel.

  24. Matilda P says:

    APX, indeed, that is true.

    lmgilbert, the other side of this vocations question is that their charism strongly emphasises devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the beauty of the liturgy. That’s what earnest young millennial Catholics (that is, the age group for their vocations) hunger for. It really is wonderful how many good things they have going on there, with the school and summer camp and contemplative canonesses… They’re having to build a new abbey and school, and certainly would appreciate prayers or help.

  25. SebascoNun says:

    @Nicolas Bellord: I am informed by a canonist that the new rules don’t require nine years before taking final vows. They require a formation program that lasts for at least nine years after first profession, i.e. the nun can make final profession after three years of temporary vows as long as there is a formation program which continues during the next years of her life following final vows. Since there is so much to learn in spirituality, history, deepening of prayer, etc, this is probably not very hard.

  26. Dominicanes says:

    “Under the new rules which require nine years before taking final vows St Therese of Lisieux would have only just scraped through six months before her death but then to-day a Pope would certainly not have allowed her to enter a Carmel at the age of 15. O brave new world.”

    The new norms do not say that. They say 9 years of formation. In point of fact we don’t know exactly what this means as the Instruction hasn’t come out.

    Given today’s culture most young men and women are not anywhere near mature enough to enter at 15. If a young person enters religious life too young it could destroy the vocation. And given the huge number of young religious who petition for a dispensation from final vows (nearly 3,00 yearly!) it is a wise choice of the Holy See to insist on a longer formation. Solemn vows aren’t a magic bullet. Don’t forget St. Thomas’ “grace builds on nature”.

    Much of the new norms comes from the concerns of the nuns themselves who were asked by the Holy See. Monasteries are populated with REAL people; they are not museums full of “actors” living in a long ago time. Monasteries are places of prayer and intercession here and now just as they have been in every age.

  27. truthfinder says:

    Matilda P,
    I must point out that Carmelites don’t actually have a very strong tradition of adoration, certainly far less than many other cloistered communities. I have seen various communities, strong traditional communities, that only have adoration once a week or once a month (such as First Fridays). It just simply is not part of their tradition and life of prayer. They do however have two hours of mental prayer every day along with the Divine Office. The St. Louis Carmel would be the exception, as they have daily adoration.

  28. drforjc says:

    truthfinder,
    You are correct on that, and it has to do with the following instruction from the Rule of St. Albert:

    [10] Each one of you is to stay in his own cell or nearby, pondering the Lord’s law day and night and keeping watch at his prayers unless attending to some other duty.

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear drforjc,

    It is unlikely that the Rule of St. Albert has anything to do with Carmelite Eucharistic adoration. Although there are precedents as early as the 4th century and clearly in the middle 1100’s, Eucharistic adoration formally began in 1226. The Rule of St. Albert was written about 1206 – 1214 and slightly modified in 1247. The Rule would have been silent about adoration, since it didn’t exist. There is nothing antithetical to the Rule that would place contemplation in one’s cell ahead of contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament, since it is better to meditate on the Law of the Lord in the presence of the Law-giver than in one’s cell. The staying in the cell part is less important than the meditation part, so, if St. Albert had known of Eucharistic adoration, it is unlikely that he would have opposed it.

    Now, Eucharistic adoration requires the Eucharistic presence, whereas contemplation does not. The charism of Carmel is contemplation, not Eucharistic adoration, which is a different charism, although related. I have no data on how many Carmels have periods of Eucharistic adoration, nor do I suspect that truthfinder does, either, since I don’t know if such data is even collected. While the charism of Carmel is not Eucharistic adoration, as such, I suspect that Carmels with youthful populations do have periods where nuns may pray before the Blessed Sacrament. The practice of remaining in the presence of the Lord after Communion is favored by St. Teresa, but, to my knowledge, she never mentions Eucharistic adoration as we know it, today.

    In any case, the Carmelite charism is not the same as that of an Order devoted to Eucharistic adoration, so one should not expect it to be the same.

    On a few other comments:

    Kay – have you looked into a Secular Order? The Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans have them and the Benedictines have oblates.

    Imgilbert,

    The province of St. Joseph, Dominicans of Washington, D. C., has 70 men in formation. Orthodoxy is a great selling point.

    Benedict Joseph,

    Some Carmels went off the deep-end in the 1960’s, but there are many orthodox Carmels in the U. S. that are attracting a lot of vocations. Things have gotten better.

    APX,

    Small point – if I recall, St. Teresa wanted no more than 13 in each original OCD Carmel. The number might have been modified through the centuries. I don’t know.

    The discernment of a vocation takes place in two places: the Council, who proposes and the person, who accepts or declines. It takes both to bring a vocation to solemn vows. Either side can break the bond before the time for permanent vows occurs. Thus, such men and women need prayer, not only for perseverence, but for a true discernment. Two of my friends are Carmelite nuns and I have followed them as they have tried their vocations. It can be a difficult path, for some.

    Finally, the best fairly modern book (still, it is pre-Vatican II) discussing the call to Carmel from a nun’s point of view is, unfortunately, out of print, although Amazon has some copies:

    My Beloved: the story of a Carmelite nun:

    The Chicken

  30. Matilda P says:

    With regards to adoration, just to clarify I was responding to lmgilbert about the Norbertines of St Michael’s Abbey, who have an abundance of vocations, and I meant to say that part of that might also be because their (900-year-old order’s) charism speaks very strongly to young Catholics today: the Blessed Sacrament and the liturgy, in addition to their boldness in promoting the religious life. But it is good to know about the Carmelites, in any case.

  31. PTK_70 says:

    @ Dominicanes…Thank you for the great post and offering what I take to be an “insider” view.

    To clarify, do you mean that there are annually 300 or 3,000 petitions for dispensation from final vows?

    These cannot all be from the habit-less “spirit of V2” communities, since such groups are not, as I understand, bringing in many new members.

    I like how you mention St Thomas. A quick search for the Angelic Doctor’s take on grace and nature brought me to this helpful article (http://catholicism.org/grace-perfects-nature.html), which quotes St Thomas as follows, “Since therefore grace does not destroy nature but perfects it…”.

    There’s got to be more to an enduring vocation (and a healthy community) than traditional garb and traditional devotions. To return to the video at the heart of this post, the young woman’s vocation obviously didn’t arise in a vacuum. And the townfolk accompanying her are not oblivious to the Carmel, which somehow fulfills its mission and demonstrates its vigor by being a shining city on a hill…for others to see.

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  33. APX says:

    Chicken,

    I actually have a copy of that book. It’s a good read. I couldn’t put it down. If you go for a vocational visit to the Buffalo Carmel, they give a copy to you to read during your time there. The book is based on one of the New York Carmels.

    The Carmel served by the FSSP in Nebraska is a very difficult and strict Carmel and apparently very few who enter make it through without being asked to leave. Actually, talking to anyone with any knowledge of Religious life and Carmel make it sound like there’s no point in even trying…with the exception of the Mother Prioresses themselves.

  34. lmgilbert says:

    APX,

    You write and I vehemently deny this statement:

    “The Carmel served by the FSSP in Nebraska is a very difficult and strict Carmel and apparently very few who enter make it through without being asked to leave. Actually, talking to anyone with any knowledge of Religious life and Carmel make it sound like there’s no point in even trying…with the exception of the Mother Prioresses themselves.”

    Our daughter entered this monastery, the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Valparaiso, Nebraska, eight years ago, when they already around 28 nuns. According to their constitutions, there are not supposed to be more than 21 nuns in a monastery, unless they are planning to make a new foundation, so obviously this was the plan. The numbers continued to climb into the upper 30’s, and in summer of 2009, Valparaiso made a foundation in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, sending about 10 nuns. Last I heard that foundation has grown to about 19 nuns.

    Again at Valparaiso the numbers resumed climbing, once again to the upper 30’s, and once again they made a new foundation in 2012, sending 10 nuns to the Oakland diocese, where the the nuns are now located in a monastery in Kensngton.

    At Valparasio the numbers are once again in the high 30’s and the professed have probably given up their cells to the younger nuns while they themselves are in improvised cells. Before she went on the new foundation to California my daughter’s “cell” was the music room.

    It is obvious that once again Valparaiso is in the position to make at least one foundation, and possibly two, if any diocese will have them. Perhaps this “difficult and strict” mantra is out there putting bishops off, or perhaps it is the Latin liturgy.

    In other words, not only is your statement incorrect, APX, but per my daughter this kind of explosive growth is unprecedented in the history of the order.

    This, I can assure you, has not happened by virtue of the Mother Prioress and Novice Mistress sending nuns home!

    As far as being excessively strict, they are in fact very solicitous of their charges, especially new entrants. That said, it is a cloistered Carmelite convent intent on living the rule according to the spirit of St. Teresa, so it is not and cannot be a “cake walk.”

    They have the Mass and all 7 offices in Latin. One of their retreat masters observed that they have the perfect blend of the Crucified (penitential) and Risen life. In our community visits with the nuns at all three convents, we have never seen them anything but very radiantly joyous and very human. In fact, given what we have overheard from the sisters during their recreation times, and others have reported the same thing, they are uproariously joyous.

    We are aware of several nuns who have left, and who have continued to have very warm relationships with their respective convents, not only visiting with them, but in one case giving them music lessons. On the whole, it s not a matter of being asked to leave but of arriving at a mutual realization that this is not the young woman’s vocation. Often this seems to manifest itself in a health crisis shortly before solemn profession.

    This by the way is a Carmelite, not an FSSP monastery. The Vicar General of the Lincoln Diocese, Mgr Thorburn, is the chaplain, lives on the grounds, says daily Mass and is, I believe, their ordinary confessor. On big occasions such as solemn professions, etc., the FSSP will supply priests and altar servers. Surely the relationship with FSSP is very cordial, but they are two very different entities with two very different spiritualities.

    In brief, APX, it is difficult to imagine how you could be more wrong.

  35. Liz says:

    APX, well oh my goodness. I live here in Lincoln, NE near the Carmelites, and I don’t know where you got your information about Carmel, but it is so false. lmgilbert has already refuted so well what you said, but those nuns are so happy and so joyful. If it was so strict and they were turning people away so easily as you say why would they keep filling up again and again? That makes no sense. It’s true that sometimes people leave because it is not for them. The ones I have spoken to only have good things to say about their time there. It is heaven on earth!

  36. APX says:

    Imgilbert,

    I’m just passing on what I have been told by FSSP priests who have more experience with the Carmelites in Nebraska than I do. What you say gives me hope.

  37. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Imgilbert,

    One of my two Carmelite nun friends also might have entered the same convent as your daughter, I think. It was in Nebraska and I do think it was either Valparaiso or Lincoln. It has been a while and I don’t know if she has moved to a new community. The Carmel that she was professed in was austere (they slept on straw beds), but she was very happy.

    Small world.

    The Chicken

  38. Liz says:

    APX, I am sorry if you were given that impression. As The Chicken says it is an austere lifestyle for sure, but I have heard that the blessings for the sisters (and for their families!) far outweigh any of the hardships that there may be. God is not outdone in generosity, and as you can imagine I’m sure the blessings abound. I can see where people long for that life even if it must be difficult.(By the way the Carmel is not in Lincoln it’s out in the country and Valparaiso is the nearby town. They desire a hidden life so they are not in the thick of things.) Please pray for the good sisters!

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