Emancipated women in an enclosed order
DID you hear the 45 minute programme on BBC Radio, by the Tyburn nuns? It was fascinating listening to the voices of everyone from the newest novice to the dynamic Mother General.
Their priority was their prayer life, and to me the paradox of this enclosed order of contemplative nuns is that they are obviously among the most emancipated women in the church and in the world. They spend their days and nights hi perpetual adoration before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. They were founded in Paris, in Montmartre, and are today in Sydney, Australia, at Tyburn, and in Peru.
They were invited to Peru by a local bishop who asked them to come and work among his people, and to pray, particularly, for vocations to the priesthood in his diocese. The women of South America are accustomed to unfaithful husbands and, in the main, do not trust men. For this reason they still do not have the trust in priests which is still to be found in Europe. They do, however, trust contemplative nuns who live a Christ-like life. The Tyburn nuns are therefore the most genuine emancipators of the down-trodden women of South America because their emancipation proceeds directly from their love of Christ.
I have always wondered how on earth the conversion of the native peoples of South America, by the Spaniards and the Portuguese, at the point of a sword, could have lasted for even five minutes. It is an appalling thought that with notable exceptions, such as the Jesuits in Paraguay, the Spanish and Portuguese missionaries allied themselves with Kings and Emperors bent on enslaving the native peoples, destroying their culture, and looting them of their gold and silver.
Belloc used to say that the Faith is Europe, and Europe is the Faith, but now my bet is that Africa, where the ciboria are overflowing at the celebration of the Eucharist, and vocations are flourishing, and South America, where Christian communes and Catechists, and priests and bishops of the people are suffering the Passion of Christ, will give back to a spiritually sick and feeble Europe a new vision of the Risen Christ. Meanwhile, the Benedictine nuns of Perpetual Adoration at Tyburn keep the world and the planets spinning, and save us all from the wrath of God.