What have contemplative nuns to do with the priesthood? Writing in L'Osservatore Romano for 3rd December, Anna Maria Canopi (foundress of the Benedictine Abbey Mater Ecclesiae, San Giulio Island, Orta, Italy), explains:
"Perhaps few people imagine the burden of anxiety and suffering in which prayer communities are engaged and few imagine how intensely involved contemplatives are in the lives of their brothers...The cloister separates the nun from the world, not from love of neighbour. Consecrated to the ministry of prayer, they live the travail of spiritual birth, concerning which St Paul says to the Galations: 'My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!' (Gal 4:19)
"This is the ministry proper to contemplative nuns: hidden from the eyes of the world they are like springs that make fertile the valleys and plains.
"If we would see more priests, perhaps we need to see more contemplative mothers first? Jesus Christ, the One High Priest, did not come into the world without the Virgin Mary's total self-gift to God. In her article, Sr Canopi, OSB, asks that we pray for those who pray for us--the contemplatives. We would be crazy not to!