The prayerful support that takes place behind-the-scenes in a monastic community works like Moses interceding for the battle, and Esther interceding for her people. Our founder, Saint Dominic knew this. I like to say that the nuns image his life of prayer. He would spend his nights in prayer, in tears and prostrations groaning, "My God, my Mercy, what will become of sinners!?"
In times past people understood their sinfulness and were accountable for them; today, so many suffer from such a lack of a sense of sin that others are needed to call down graces of mercy and forgiveness for them. Perhaps this reality — that so much of the world doesn't even accept the concept of sin — is what is further prompting so many new inquiries to our way of life. The Holy Spirit has never ceased to call; lately more seem to be hearing.
This is why we are so excited that the Year of Mercy will coincide with the 800th Jubilee of the Dominican Order, and consider it no by-chance coincidence but all within the plan of Divine Providence. God never leaves his sheep unattended; the need is great; the prayer-warriors will be provided, for the sake of the battle, yes, but also for the healing.
From the very beginning the preaching of the Dominican Order wasn't so much "conversion" but reconciliation. We even acknowledge this in one of the very first paragraphs of our constitutions, "The unanimity of our life, rooted in the love of God, should furnish a living example of that reconciliation of all things in Christ which our brethren proclaim in their preaching of the Word."
How awesome is that? We religious do not sit on a pedestal saying, "Be like us," but rather, "What God has done for us he will do for you if only you let him!"
The world must be reconciled to God; our religious brothers and sisters, smaller in number than at any time in the last fifty years, give strong assist in the spiritual battle, on the ground and from the deep prayer-circuitry of monasticism. But the victory will only be apparent in Christ's own time. Our future, in the meantime, is "rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer" (Romans 12:12). Amen.