There are SOOOO many things to love about nuns! From their sense of adventure to their dedication to the common good -- the list is practically endless! Here are my ten top favorite things about Catholic sisters and nuns. What is your top pick? What else would you add?
1. Catholic Sisters are adventurous.
There's a very unfortunate stereotype out there that nuns are docile little wisps of a thing who live a staid, sterile life. Nonsense! Being a Catholic sister or nun is one of the most adventurous (and interesting) experiences of my life! Uh, sorry, can't talk -- must go stand up for human rights, pray for the most vulnerable, help someone find a home, educate the next generation, help others grow in their relationship with God, travel and provide aid to a war-torn country, and appreciate and protect God's good creation.
2. Catholic Sisters know sisterhood.
There are many ways to have relationships, but I gotta say, I absolutely love sisterhood, being in community where "each sister lives for God and all live for each other" (a saying among my IHM Sisters).
3. Catholic Sisters are grounded in prayer.
Alone with God, in common with one's sisters, together with one's faith community, on the job, during retreat, standing in line at the supermarket -- nuns are women of prayer. Even when life is challenging -- indeed even when prayer is a challenge -- we strive to not simply to have a prayer life but to have a life of prayer.
4. Catholic Sisters are normal and down to earth.
Sometimes we think nuns are on a pedestal because of their life choice, that somehow the rules of humanity are different for them or that they are exempt. Catholic sisters and nuns are normal -- we aren't any holier or closer to God than any other person. We like sports, watch TV, eat, sleep, laugh, get angry, and draw unicorns just like everyone else (srsly tho, you're not the only one who binge-watches Netflix!).
5. Catholic Sisters can see directly into your soul.
Ever have that experience of talking to someone who totally gets you right away? It's amazing how often I can sit even for a few moments with a sister and experience a kind of spiritual connection that is not only remarkable but also that sustains me.
6. Catholic Sisters are compassionate.
Nuns care deeply about people, and in a particular way reach out to those who are vulnerable -- people who are sick, oppressed, discriminated against, suffering, in pain, scared, lonely, lost, marginalized. We do this through our contemplative prayer, our apostolates (ministries), and the way we live our lives and engage in relationships.
7. Catholic Sisters are dedicated.
When a nun is on a mission, there is no stopping her. She will not be stopped by a lack of assistance, funding, or resources. She will not be stopped by naysayers. She will not be stopped regardless of her limitations, busy-ness, or tiredness. Nuns are fierce.
8. Catholic Sisters know how to pray hard and play hard.
So we are used to the praying part -- but playing? Oh yes we do! I know nuns who do open-water swimming, ride bikes, play cards, watch movies, enjoy gardening, do woodwork, bake pizzelles, and sing karaoke -- no links to karaoke to protect the sister's identity (looks at Sister Maxine).
9. Catholic Sisters are joyful.
Yes, sometimes we have our days when being joyful isn't easy. As noted above, we are normal human beings. But I have found that there is a peaceful joy that pervades the sisterhood. And it's not simply "being happy," but truly being joy-filled.
10. Catholic Sisters are creative.
Nuns are like the MacGyvers of real life. It never ceases to amaze me how Sisters use their creativity in order to meet needs, solve problems, or make something out of nothing!
(Haha it's close, Sister Richard Dean Anderson!)