Time magazine recently had an article about “nuns,” asking why anyone in their right mind would want to become a “nun” these days.
Father Robert McTeigue, S.J. wrote a brief rebuttal. I give you the highlights here. Check out his complete post at Aleteia.org.
To summarize the article, it said in essence:
- No one is becoming a nun anymore.
- No one is becoming a nun anymore because the Vatican is mean to nuns.
- The proof that the Vatican is mean to nuns is that the Vatican won’t let nuns become priests.
- No one is becoming a nun anymore because all the cool reasons for which young women used to become nuns can now be realized by young women without suffering the indignity of enduring the Vatican’s lack of appreciation.
The author asks why young women would want to join an institution where they cannot rise above a certain level (ie. the priesthood and Pope). Young women do not need religious life anymore. They can become highly educated, travel and do good without being tied down with kids and husbands.
Father says in reply: Notice what the author did not mention.
- She did not mention women entering religious life because the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are a path to holiness.
- She did not mention women entering religious life because they wanted to live as a consecrated bride of Christ.
- She did not mention women entering religious life to find the consolation of communal life.
- She did not mention women entering religious life to live the charism of their order’s founder (e.g., loving God in simplicity in the manner of Saint Francis, loving God in truth in the manner of Saint Dominic, etc.).
Regarding this lack of understanding, here is what St. Paul has to say:
“…no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms. Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually” (1 Corinthians 2:11b-14).
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