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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Three months in Toronto and not a nun In sight

Some friends wonder why they haven't seen a single nun in Toronto, so far. They have been to the church of Our Lady of Lourdes on Sundays as well as in other days, because it is beautiful they say, but not a nun in sight. Why is this significant? Well, where we (my friends and I) come from, you can't go to Church on Sundays or even walk around the city proper on most weekdays without seeing a nun. They're visible. They're part of the visible Christian identity of the Philippines. Which is why it is sad that many nuns now go around without wearing habits. Not these nuns, of course, but it would be nice if there was more visibility. If the Church has no visibility and no opinions to share then it is not the Church that Christ established to be a sign to the nations, a city built on top of a hill, salt of the earth and leaven for the world. I'm not saying that visibility and opinion-sharing is everything that the Church should have, but it certainly is one of them. I am not pushing for visibility over substance, but visibility and substance. As with many other things, it is not either/or.


Noel Ong said...

I am sure there are reasons nowadays why nuns don't wear their habit outside the church, I guess its probably the same reason why priest don't wear theirs when they are not in the church.

Although probably its is not fair to the nuns and priest, for me I feel immensely satisfying to see or be near a priest or nun when you are in doubt and have problems. It might not be entirely correct but somehow seeing a priest or nun gives one a psychological feel that somehow God is near. I know that God is everywhere around us and we do not need a physical reminder, however I feel humans by nature needs to be visibly and constantly reminded of the nearness of God.

Jeff Tan said...

Hello, Noel, and welcome to the blog! :-)

I know what you mean. Although it is not a cause of holiness in itself to be wearing religious clothing or other visible signs of being a religious, it is comforting to see people who go full-time into his service: priests, nuns, monks, missionaries, pastors -- all full-time servants of the Lord's vineyard. And we need more! :-)