Monday, September 17, 2012

Cold feet... The Discalced

It is cold in Minnesota today, and my feet are cold.

Which reminds me of men and women religious who go without shoes, they are referred to as discalced.  Many of the reforms of traditional orders went without shoes, it was part penitential, part poverty - the poor had no shoes, so neither did they.  Some orders retain the discalced habit to this day, and not just in warm climates.

Years ago the local OCD monastery of nuns would on occasion allow me to keep vigil part of the night, and once or twice, all night in their extern chapel.  In winter it was freezing cold, despite the fact they had the heat on.  I think they kept the temp at 60 degrees, but it felt much colder.  They used to keep it colder, but the chaplain at the time demanded they turn up the thermostat, thus, out of charity,  they made that concession.  The nuns were discalced - wearing only sandals.  I never saw them, but I was told they usually did not wear socks either.  If my feet were cold in hiking boots and wool socks, I could only imagine how cold their feet were.

I think of St. Therese - how the cold in Carmel was said to be her greatest suffering. 

Today we think of contemplatives and hermits, all cuddled up in perfect habits, discalced, warm and cosy next to the heater in their cell, sipping cappuccino, while composing lofty meditations on their website.

The monastery of OCD nuns I know do not have a computer - and they aren't asking for one either.  They remain discalced too.

Photo source.

UPDATE:  THIS IS WHAT MY CAT ADDED while I was trying to add another photo:



  1. Erica likes to blog, too

  2. I saw that in the movie "There Be Dragons," about St. Josemaría Escrivá during the Spanish Civil War. In the film it's a discalced monk he sees delivering wood to an old lady in the snow that sets him thinking about a life of service.

    Did you see that movie? It was pretty good, I thought.

  3. Today we think of contemplatives and hermits, all cuddled up in perfect habits, discalced, warm and cosy next to the heater in their cell, sipping cappuccino, while composing lofty meditations on their website.

    LOL!!!!!! I know. I always take it as a very good sign if I can't find a website or any info at all online, lol. Though, there are advantages to discovering info about Carmel that some might not otherwise know so there are advantages and disadvantages w/ or w/out computers. Modern life is so complicated isn't it, Terry? ;)

  4. Anonymous12:15 AM

    Kitty still has Original Mischief.
    Did you ever see this article from The Onion?,11206/

    I thought it was hilarious, although I'm sure there are those out there who will be offended. Click at your own risk.

  5. I'm an O.C.D.S. and of what I've learned about the suffering of St. Therese; yes, the cold, but my favorite is the old nun whose false teeth rattled as she mumbled prayers behind St. Therese in the choir, when Therese was trying to pray! Arrrrgh! Anyone who has been in an Adoration Chapel with someone who makes weird noises can relate! She offered it up as beautiful music to our Lord and ended up eagerly listening for it... That's sanctity in my book!

  6. Terry, Maria and others interested in Carmel,
    Someone sent me this link on a particularly low point in life a few weeks back. You may enjoy visiting this site. I was surprised to see this but also delighted and I hope it helps to bring the nuns more vocations.

    1. Thanks! I love that site.

  7. I was already aware of the site and and had already seen it, Little Way but thanks anyway. I liked it :)

  8. Those last couple of paragraphs are as good as anything you do.



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