Trapped by Love?

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Is it worth for something today to live as a cloistered nun? Sr. Alicia Correa is an Augustinian Recollect contemplative nun. In this article she narrates a beautiful anecdote that made her find the meaning of contemplative life in our time.

I start with this question: Trapped by Love?

I share this to you that during one of the days of this Christmas, I received a pleasant visit. My visitors were the parents of Guadalupe, a blonde, lively, four-year girl with tousled hair, who also came with them. After greeting us, [nuns], Guadalupe looked at me intently, and after clinging to the bars of the grille that separated us, she, with wide eyes, threw me this question: “And you, why are you trapped here?”

A smile was drawn on the faces of those present and there was a brief silence. That was what she perceived after seeing my silhouette appear behind the grille. She questioned her [mother] about the reason of this way of living or at least of “being.” With kindness, her mother tried to make her understand saying: “Guadalupe, como se dice ‘cerrado’ en inglés?” [“Guadalupe, how do you say ‘cerrado’ in English?”] To which she responded without hesitation: “Closed.” “Very good! Well, [Sister] Alicia is a cloistered nun. She is enclosed; she lives this way because she is always with God. She prays for all of us.”

The brief silence awakened in me another great question: “Is it worth for something today to live as a cloistered nun?” The question that Guadalupe asked me has much to think about, much to tell…

In a media-conditioned society such as ours, in which changes take place at a dizzying speed, and which is characterized by what was once and used to have value, today this value no longer exists. Ours is a society where there seems to be no employment, personnel, nor emotional stability; in which everything is about using and throwing away; and is dependent on the good or benefit that brings me.

The OAR monastery in Bacolod City which houses nuns who willfully present themselves to get “trapped” by love and for love

This is a society where everything is fleeting and unstable, where competition is played; a world that is determined by hedonism, pleasure, minimal effort, by making life choices easy, by living in complete freedom; in which the values ​​of yore have gone into a nosedive and have been replaced by other very different ones.

It is a society where everything is done in a hurry, and the expression “I do not have time” is often heard; where we are “forced” many times to live wearing masks even if we know it, just to pretend, not to be “less” than the others.

It is a society where many times we live at a dizzying pace, and everything tends to tilt outward—empty of what is truly important, bereft of giving an option to think, to introspection—rather than to assert our very own rights because we are important persons. Does it make sense, therefore, to live in the cloister in our society today?

Personally, I do not like to define myself with this term “cloister.” I prefer to talk about contemplation. At a glance, “closed” already denotes something like: to isolate, to close oneself, to put oneself in solitary confinement, to separate oneself. If this alone is understood as “cruel” (“a ‘sangre fría’”), literally, not only does it not make sense to live as a cloistered or contemplative nun, but also – I dare to say – it is foolishness.

However, everything has a background, a meaning. Everything in life has an explanation, a why, a goal and a purpose. Everything has a beginning and a reason why it happens. It is the result of something preceding that gives its identity and style of being. Therefore, trapped, yes, but for something, for something, or better still, for Someone.

The cloister only makes sense today when it is lived as a means and not as an end. When it is assumed in freedom and for love of Someone higher than you, who loves you and who wants to take you to a particular place and away from everything else, to a solitude, in order that He will speak to your heart, (and not because the outside is considered bad, or an escape).

It is a quick, happy and generous response to the call that has been felt from the depths of one’s being. You choose the life of the cloister as a means that favors dedicating yourself completely to God so that there may be least possible disturbances in your dealing and relationship with Him.

Happily trapped — the OAR nuns listening to Fr. Dionisio Selma, OAR with smiles in their faces

It is the offering of yourself for a cause, including the offering of the place where you will develop your life. The cloister favors tranquility and peace of the spirit necessary and essential for the encounter with Love (God) who is contemplation. He is sought to be “caught”, to be “trapped” by Him, to live as close as possible and to speak to God from the heart of all the brothers and sisters who live outside the monastery, because there is another possible, different way of living—it is the one that provides peace, quietness, tranquility, knowing that there is always Someone within ourselves who dwells within us, cares for us, and pampers us; and that it is possible that we may not pay enough attention, that Someone gives true meaning to our existence and for Him we make this choice of contemplative life.

Everything has a reason and a purpose, hence, I ask myself again, I go back to raise the question: “Does it make sense to live like this?” The man and woman of today need, more than ever, those spaces of interiority to discover themselves and that possible option of a different life.

I think I have answered Guadalupe’s question. I live trapped by Love and in order to love.

Written in Spanish by: Sr. Alicia Correa Fernández, OAR
(Monasterio Santíssimo Corpus Christi – Granada, Spain)

English translation: Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

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Augustinian Recollects

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Official encoder of RecoletosFilipinas.org

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< 2023 >
February
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   1
  • All day
    February 1, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA
    (January 31 – February 3)

    DAY 2: KINSHASA
    9:30      HOLY MASS at “Ndolo” Airport
    16:30   MEETING WITH VICTIMS FROM THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY at the Apostolic Nunciature
    18:30   MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM SOME CHARITIES at the Apostolic Nunciature

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Ramon Monroy, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Yolanda Zaragoza, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Corazon Timones, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Miguel, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Brigida Gabriel, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    +Sis. Dorotea Sarmiento, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

2
  • All day
    February 2, 2023

    FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (CANDELARIA)

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA

    DAY 3: KINSHASA
    09:30   MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AND CATECHISTS in Martyrs’ Stadium
    16:30   PRAYER MEETING WITH PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral “Notre Dame du Congo”
    18:30   PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature

    27th WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE PATRONAL FIESTA
    OF OUR LADY OF SIERRA LEONE PARISH (Kamabai) Time: 1100H (Sierra Leone)
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Natale Paganelli S.X.

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Petra Pascual, AR
    Sis. Josephine Bangura (Trialer / Kamalo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Socorro Japson, AR

3
  • All day
    February 3, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA THEN TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 4: KINSHASA / DAY 1: JUBA

    8:30     MEETING WITH BISHOPS at CENCO
    10:10   FAREWELL CEREMONY at Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport
    0:40     Departure by airplane from Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport to Juba

    The Holy Father is making the Journey to South Sudan together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

    15:00   Arrival at Juba International Airport
    15:00   WELCOME CEREMONY
    15:45   COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC at the Presidential Palace
    16:15   MEETING WITH THE VICE-PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC
    17:00   MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the Presidential Palace

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ceferino Roberto Añez
    Sis. Celerina Santos, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Celerina Jaurequi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Marilyn Miraña, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Filomena de Jesus

4
  • All day
    February 4, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 2: JUBA

    9:00      MEETING WITH BISHOPS, PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral of Saint Therese
    1:00       PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature
    16:30     MEETING WITH INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS in the “Freedom Hall”
    18:00    ECUMENICAL PRAYER at “John Garang” Mausoleum

    INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HUMAN FRATERNITY

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS

    BIRTHDAY

    FRAY BERNARD AMPARADO, Prior Provincial
    Sr. Jannet Nicer, AR
    Sis. Erlinda Dionela, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Diana Concepcion, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

5
  • All day
    February 5, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 3: JUBA – ROME

    08:45    HOLY MASS at “John Garang” Mausoleum
    11:00    FAREWELL CEREMONY at Juba International Airport
    11:30    Departure by airplane from Juba International Airport to Rome
    17:30    Arrival at Rome Fiumicino International Airport

    36th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1987-2023)
    OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION PARISH, Miranila, Quezon City
    Time: 1100H
    Presider & Homilist: Prior Provincial

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Sr. Anselma Millan, AR
    Sis. Purificacion Rallos, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Trina Genicet Zamora (RAY-Valencia)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Ofelia Cruz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Rosario Manese, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

6
  • All day
    February 6, 2023

    GENERALATE: MEETING OF THE DIGITAL EVANGELIZATION TEAM (ONLINE)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ronel Gealon
    Mo. Ma. Emilia Gaspillo, AR
    Sr. Doraine Suyko, AR
    Sis. Marlin Regalado, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Dorothy Joy Balcueva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Alberto Avanzado

7
  • All day
    February 7, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    Br. Christian Peralta (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Lina Gonzaga, AR
    Sr. Gewena Gay Villarubia, AR
    Sis. Jaena Lascano, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Cecile Pedregosa (RAY-Urbiztondo)

8
  • All day
    February 8, 2023

    9th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND AWARENESS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Elflida Palma, AR
    Sis. Lydia Morales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Crestita Pabon, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Cajes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ruth Gonzales, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Anita Miranda, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

9
  • All day
    February 9, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr.
    Br. Kirvie Bodiongan (aspirant)
    Bro. Romeo Reyes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Florentina Alambra, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Torrecampo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

10
  • All day
    February 10, 2023

    24th INAUGURATION ANNIVERSARY (1999-2023) OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Virginia Toledo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

11
  • All day
    February 11, 2023

    OUR LADY OF LOURDES

    31st WORLD DAY OF THE SICK Theme: “Take care of him” (Lk 10:35) / Compassion as a synodal exercise of healing

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES QUASI-PARISH
    Brgy. Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental
    Time: 1000H
    Presider & Homilist: Prior Provincial

    CHARTER DAY OF TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL

    CLOSING OF RED EDUCAR 2023 MEETING
    Venue: Colegio de San Agustin, Costa del Este, Panama
    Date: Jan 20 – Feb. 11, 2023

    GENERALATE: AUGUSTINIAN CLASSROOM OF EDUCATION (MADRID)
    Date: Feb. 11-12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Filomena Oliva, AR
    Sr. Marisa Dacuya, AR
    Sis. Edelyn Celeste, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2017-2023)

    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Fray John Paul Tanquis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Romana Caballero, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

12
  • All day
    February 12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Heart Danielle Nakila (RAY-Balamban)
    Sis. Moonyen Llorca, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Bonifacio, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

13
  • All day
    February 13, 2023

    INSTALLATION OF FRAY JULIUS JAMES TINAPAO AS PRIEST IN-CHARGE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    QUASI- PARISH, CAIDIOCAN

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Erlinda Vergara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Catalina Matahum, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Victoria Maniago, SAR (Manila Chapter)

     

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Pedro Magalit, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

14
  • All day
    February 14, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Filomena Duro, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Mena Quiambao, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Serena Principio, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Era Santos, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Lucresia Samson, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Josephine Palanca, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Mary Grace Escayo, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    +Sis. Teresita Labos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

15
  • All day
    February 15, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR
    Bro. Julius Cayabyab, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

16
  • All day
    February 16, 2023

    FORMATION OF FORMATORS
    (Part 1: Feb. 16-18, 2023)

    GENERALATE: GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING (ROME)
    Date: Feb. 16-17, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Porferia Tundag, AR
    Sis. Herminia Villanueva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Cecilia Cabildo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

17
  • All day
    February 17, 2023

    5th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF PIONEER RECOLETOS MISSIONARIES IN CUBA

    GENERALATE:  ONLINE MEETING OF THE GENERAL TREASURER WITH THE PROVINCIAL TREASURERS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.
    Sis. Lourdes Tupaz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Albina Panelo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Femesolone Gamboa, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Segundina Valderama, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Helen Villarin, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

18
  • All day
    February 18, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Mark Saludes
    Sis. Erlinda Torrecampo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Walthrode Conde, OAR
    +Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Estrella Montes, SAR (Manila Chapter)

19
  • All day
    February 19, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena
    Bro. Gavino Bucao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Remedios Laguisma (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2003-2023)

    Most. Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Bishop of Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Pia de San Sebastian
    +Sr. Josefina Disen, AR

20
  • All day
    February 20, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joseph Neil Baygan (simply prof.)
    Sis. Reba Pacres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Mary Rose Capulong (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ines de Padua, AR

21
  • All day
    February 21, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Sis. Betty Sinon, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Vallejo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lourdes Bonete, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Josefina Buletic, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Fernanda Kintanar, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Nellie Cabutotan (Trialer / Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Aniceta de la Santisima Trinidad, AR
    +Bro. Luis Clauor Jr., SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

22
  • All day
    February 22, 2023

    SEASON OF LENT STARTS: ASH WEDNESDAY

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jay-R Vailoces (aspirant)
    Sr. Ma. Flora Silverio, AR
    Sis. Emiline Navera, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Margarita Gamboa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Soledad Baraya, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

23
  • All day
    February 23, 2023

    FORMATION OF FORMATORS
    (Part 2: Feb. 23-25, 2023)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ana Maria Rosello, AR
    +Sr. Exaltacion Lagrimas, AR

24
  • All day
    February 24, 2023

    CHARTER DAY OF CEBU CITY

    ANNIVERSARY (2022-2023) OF ACCEPTANCE AS
    BROTHER-GENERAL OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL
    MORENO

    Prof. Emmanuel Luis Romanillos
    Bro. Edwin Ruiz, SAR

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Sis. Ma. Magdalena Ramos, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Jesusa de Vera, AR+Sis. Fedelina Escalante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    February 25, 2023

    37th EDSA PEOPLE POWER (1986-2023)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Roselyn Jardenil, AR
    Sis. Edna Mariano, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Adrian Gonzales (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Wenifreda Sajorda, AR

26
  • All day
    February 26, 2023

    FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Julius James Tinapao
    Br. Ren Hard Rodriguez (aspirant)
    Sis. Gloria Gaviola, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Severino Cuesta (2000-2023)
    +Sr. Teresa Constantino, AR
    +Sis. Lilia Lepasana, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anita Paloma, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

27
  • All day
    February 27, 2023

    GENERALATE: SPIRITUAL EXERCISES (MONTEAGUDO)
    Date: Feb. 27-March 2, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Teresita Caberte, AR
    Sis. Clarita Cortez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Casimera Griarte, SAR (Provincialate Chapter

28
  • All day
    February 28, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS

    MEETING OF THE PROVINCIAL PROCURATOR WITH THE LOCAL PROCURATORS
    Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City / Feb. 28 – March 1

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Crisanta Armendez, AR
    Bro. Fulgencio Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter / Brother-General of the Order)
    Sis. Macaria Decena, SAR (Manila Chapter) Sis. Maria Semine, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Perlita Narag (Urbiztondo Chapter) Sis. Emma Basul (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Milagros de San Nicolas de Tolentino
    +Sis. Estrella Montes, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Maria Torralba, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Waltrudes Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    

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