The value of contemplative life
According to our Constitutions, contemplative sisters are dedicated completely to contemplation of God, living in silence and solitude, insistent prayers and generous penitence.
As our Constitutions state, “Just as the Word chose to live in the silence of Nazareth for thirty years, some of our members consecrate themselves to Him in the contemplative state.” Thus, the sisters of our Religious Institute “desire to dedicate themselves to the only necessary thing; they have chosen the best part (Cf. Lk 10:41).“What a value the contemplative life has in the eyes of God and His Church! It is one of the most fundamental structures of the Holy Church/ it was present during all the phases of its two millennium history, always fruitful by solid virtues, always gifted with secret and powerful attraction for the most elevated and noble souls”.
They are in vanguard of all apostolic works as with their life of silence and prayer acquire necessary graces of God for the salvation of many souls. “The contemplative monasteries with their prayers, penitence and internal trials play an important part in conversion of souls; because thanks to their prayers God sends workers into His harvest, opens pagans’ hearts so they could hear the Gospel, and gives salvation to their souls”. Our contemplative monasteries should be the lightning rods of the divine anger and the magnets of His grace. May God help us to multiply them all over the world!”
Following our Constitutions the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara found contemplative monasteries all over the world.
Cloistered sisters’ life
The main task of the contemplative sisters is to give testimony of the consecrated life in silence and prayer.
Contemplative way of life is quite stable and well-planned: prayers, cell time, study, hand work, recreation, work in the garden etc.
St. Paul wrote: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5, 17). Prayer is the first and the most important task of every consecrated person, especially of a contemplative sister, it embraces all her life. Six hours a day sisters spent in their chapel where they have liturgical prayers.
In the solitude of her cell, unseen by the world, a nun may learn more about herself in order to change for the better and to follow the Lord closer. In her cell a sister is usually occupied with reading the Bible, meditating over the Divine Word, and with spiritual reading, as well as with studying.
The most part of the day is spent in silence. Every day sisters have two hours of recreation when it is allowed to speak at lunch and dinner. On Sundays the community time is more prolonged.
Work hours are dedicated to the garden or housework. Sisters also do some handwork: rosaries, liturgical embroidering etc. Some sisters are also occupied with intellectual apostolate like books editing and translation.
Every year on Christmas our contemplative sisters have a nice tradition to dress the Baby Jesus in a special way and to add some specific prayers throughout the year related to these clothes. For example, once Jesus was dressed like a Byzantine priest and the sisters prayed for priests. The following year Jesus was dressed like Prince Volodymyr because that year we celebrated 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus. Another year they prayed for our Patriarch Sviatoslav, his sanctity and perseverance in faith.