Invited, lured by God, the heart of our vocation is this: to be free to enter more deeply into the Divine Friendship, sharing the love life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Deep called to the deep within us. Leaving all behind, we have withdrawn to this monastic community, this consecrated space, to let God be our God, who sustains us with his life-giving presence.
Moment by moment we live the Gospel way of life in its radical purity. By weaving our life story with the Sacred Pasch of Christ, the pattern, motive, and moral power to live in friendship with God are made possible. This event must have its force and way in our lives. It must be the basis and model for all we do. As Dominican Nuns our way to incarnate this reality is by means of time-tested and proven practices called the Dominican Monastic Observances. These practices form the core of our following of Christ. They are the various ways of responding to God, who God is, and all that He has done for us. They help us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus; they form us from the outside in. With a sure balance, harmony, and hierarchy, they map out our daily, weekly, and yearly routine in the monastery. What do we do all day? We live these observances to the best of our ability. They fashion, transform, and free us for God. We are given the power to resist anything that might divert us from Him. You might say that Dominican Nuns live this way of life each day to look Love (Christ Crucified) in the face, to imitate and be conformed to him. Human flourishing, true happiness, and ultimately the possession of the greatest treasure – the kingdom of God – flow from this lifelong pursuit.
The four outstanding Dominican observances of common life, liturgy and prayer, study of sacred truth, and the vows symbolize and effect our communion with God and one anther; the five supporting observances of enclosure, silence, work, penitential practices, and the habit serve to establish the boundaries which are the necessary conditions for this communion. In other words, the supporting elements of our life are at the service of the essential practices.