2011-02-03 12:01:24

A nun's story

As the Church celebrates the World Day for Consecrated Life we shine the spotlight on the reality of living this way of life. In our fast-paced, materialistic and technology-driven world, becoming a nun with its vows of poverty, chastity and obedience is a radical move that only a small minority of young women embrace nowadays.

So, what what’s it really like to live a consecrated life with its emphasis on prayer and self sacrifice and what are the special rewards and challenges of being a contemplative nun? To find out more Susy Hodges spoke to Sister Gabriel Davidson, a Poor Clare Nun and Novice Mistress at their Arundel community in southern England. She gained a degree in engineering at Salford University before deciding to become a nun 17 years ago....

Sister Gabriel says it was during her time as a university student that she "began to learn how to pray .. and "began to gradually discern her vocation" But her decision was not greeted with delight by her parents as she explains: "initially my family were very surprised and shocked and I think somewhat disappointed" ... it was a great struggle for my family to accept the fact....."

Asked about her typical day as a Poor Clare Nun, Sister Davisdon says "we try and live and foster a life of prayer ... and a typical day begins at 5 o'clock in the morning and we pray the office of readings at a quarter to six and then ..."

When asked whether she had ever had moments of doubt or a wavering of her faith, Sister Davidson says: "I think whenever one is on a spiritual journey there are moments of darkness and moments of great struggle and equally there are moments of joy and peace and I think they go hand in hand..." She is convinced that "whatever the sacrifice that God asks of you, is lesser than the greater gift of being able to live in the consecrated life."
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