The Vows

 

"The rôle of Religious communities is to be places of joy....Not the short-lived euphoria or happiness which may co-exist with malaise, but the deep sense of gratitude that ought to underpin all aspects of our life in the Church....They should remind the Church of its character, for in the vows Religious take, they echo the Beatitudes and 'renounce territory' and thereby abandon the anxiety over 'succeeding."

—Dr Rowan Williams
104th Archbishop of Canterbury
The Anglican Religious Yearbook 2004-5

 

 

Our complete gift of ourselves to God is ratified by the Church through the public profession of monastic vows, the foundation of our life in community.

Monks and nuns in the Order of Julian profess vows of poverty, celibate chastity, and obedience, with a fourth vow of prayer to signify that our primary work is contemplative prayer and intercession.

 

By the vow of poverty, we renounce private ownership of all things and hold all things in common, in order to grow into complete dependence on Christ. Our clothing, furnishings, and food are simple, and we learn to live always in gratitude and to be content with what is necessary.

By the vow of chastity, expressed as lifelong celibacy, we commit to follow Christ in self-giving love. We devote all our energy to His service by choosing to seek fulfillment in God alone, and so grow in courtesy, gentleness, and emotional maturity.

By the vow of obedience, living under a rule and a superior, we surrender our own will in order to grow into the freedom to love and will God’s will alone, loosening the grip of petty selfishness by our service to the community in Christ. Accountable to each other in community, our obedience requires the maturity of a self able to listen to others.

By the vow of prayer, we commit ourselves to the practice of the contemplative life, the work of intercession at all times and in all places and circumstances, and to conversion of heart, becoming completely open to the presence and work of God and transmitters of His peace and love.