Community of the Sisters of the Church

Our Vows


It is the divine love which draws us (through whatever means) into this particular way of Christian living, evoking from us a response of complete self-giving to God with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

All Christians are called to a self-emptying and self-giving discipleship.  For us this call is lived out as a commitment to God under vows within the Community.

The vows of poverty, chastity and obedience made freely in response to God’s love and to what we believe is our personal baptismal call, express our particular consecration through which we may find the fullness of life which Christ wills for us.

                                                                  from the Rule (1999)   


Poverty

The more poverty empties our whole being, the more shall we be able both to receive and give those riches of God which can fill the hearts of those who know that they are poor.

The biblical ‘poor’, the anawim, are not the destitute but the lowly who enter a new and freeing relationship with God expressed in dependence, obedience and praise.

As we learn trustfully and hopefully to accept our own inadequacies and poverty and those of the Community, we shall experience the truth that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.

The poor in spirit understand that God, humanity and nature are bound together in a fragile unity.  This leads to deep reverence, and a joy and oneness with, all creation, and a longing to share with Christ in making all things new...


Chastity

Celibacy, chastity and sexual abstinence involve for us a direct offering to God of our whole person, our capacity and need for love, our sexuality and creative energies, all of which are the Creator’s gifts to us.  Since we are created in God’s image the more we grow to understand and value our humanity, the more we shall enter into a divine mystery and into the life and love of our celibate vocation.

For those called to it, celibacy is a gift, ultimately a way of fulfilment, for we trust that God will bring us to wholeness and holiness, a sharing in the fruitfulness of a life in which God has first place.

Celibacy is not a renouncing of love; our whole life provides opportunity for growth in love.  This can only happen where there is genuine love and friendship among us.

Chastity is possible only if we are anchored in God in faith, in hope, in prayer; responsive to the work of the Spirit within us.  Otherwise celibate life is sterile.


Obedience

Our obedience is an expression of the love that desires to make a total commitment of ourselves in faith to God within this body of people, the Community, into which we believe God has called us...

In our voluntary acceptance of authority, whether of Rule or person, we seek to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ, who shared our human lot and became obedient to death, even to death on the cross, that all might be free and reconciled to God.  Likewise, choosing the way of obedience, we learn an unconditional love which accepts the cross, a dying by which we enter into life.

                                                                  from the Rule (1999)