Within the “sameness” of a religious order, there are still wonderful differences.
Note the Poor Clares at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery here, traditional, solemn, solidly Western and sounding very beautiful, and then see their sisters in Malawi, here, in joyful, gleeful and profound adoration, their prayer translated by an Irish priest. Sorry you must use the link for the Malawi nuns, as their video cannot be added here, but don’t miss them!
I also like this video, although it is not terribly clear. The great Mother Mary Francis, of the Poor Clares of Roswell, NM (a great, thriving house of prayer) author of one of my favorite books – the wonderous A Right to be Merry – faces all of Diane Sawyer’s skeptical wonder at the idea of people abandoning the “great big world” with a smile and replies to her: “it’s so that we can serve the whole world.”
Some people will never get it – they’ll never understand the value, gift and necessity of such a radical way of life, but it’s always a little sad to see “enlightened” baby boomers so closed/amused by these ancient and sound ways of faith. There is always with them (as with Sawyer in part II) a fixation on celibacy as a completely unmanagable and pointless discipline. As Edward Norton’s priest-character notes in the cute film Keeping the Faith, (paraphrased) “no one ever challenges Buddhist monks and nuns about this issue.”
Well, of course, they wouldn’t.
Meanwhile, Deacon Greg highlights a story about a military priest who is awarded the Purple Heart.