Our contemplative life is a balance of prayer and work. While we are called to contemplative prayer, ours is primarily a vocation to contemplative life, with prayer and work vitally integrated and mutually nourishing each other. As enclosed nuns, our primary work in the Church is to offer praise to God, principally through our participation in daily Mass and the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours seven times a day. Eucharistic adoration has always been a hallmark of Franciscan spirituality; not only our eyes, but our very lives are turned to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. From the time of our holy Mother Saint Clare, we have maintained the custom of rising for prayer in the middle of the night. Our founders took Jesus’ words to heart:
“Watch and pray. You do not know the hour when your Lord will return” (cf. Matt 26:41, Matt 24:42).
Saint Francis and Saint Clare saw work as a grace. This is the spirit with which we apply ourselves to our tasks, cooperating wholeheartedly with God in His creation and uniting ourselves to our Lord in His life of humble human labor at Nazareth. We do the ordinary tasks of any household: cleaning, cooking, sewing and ironing. Some sisters put at the service of the community secretarial, maintenance and gardening skills, and others their musical talents and nursing abilities. Whatever the task, all contribute to integrity and the common good, in which work is carried out in such a way as to serve our prayer.