On the night before He suffered, Jesus prayed for His disciples, who were “in the world” but who belonged entirely to Him (see John 17). This call of radical discipleship in the midst of an anti-Christian world is possible only by God’s grace, and The Daughters of St. Paul are swimming in it.
You have probably encountered social media content from The Daughters of St. Paul on Twitter or in their viral TikTok videos. They know that the world desperately needs Jesus and they have a keen sense of how to communicate the Good News to those who might be distant from the Church (for whatever reason).
They have been beautifully bringing the Truth of God’s Word in 240 characters or less, and now they’ve been given a little more page space to tell their own stories of the wonderful works of the Lord. Millennial Nuns is a new book from The Daughters of St. Paul that explores what it means to be anchored in the spiritual life while ministering to a port-less culture.
Real Stories of Real Women
We are well-versed with the stories of religious Saints who were convicted of their calling to religious life in their childhood and early teens years. The stories shared in Millennial Nuns will be the saint stories read by future generations. We get a real glimpse into individual Sister’s call to the religious life: one while trying to write a college history paper, one while flipping through movies on the television.
These stories of conversion are relatable, moving, and insightful. In the course of two chapters I found myself laughing out loud and tearing up. This is the way of life, and it’s put on beautiful, purpose-driven display in the writing of the Sisters.
Not Shying from Suffering
One thing that struck me in this book was how honest the Sisters were about recent or current sufferings. Their life did not magically become perfect once they took their vows. They still dealt with familial struggles and losses, the challenges that come with living in community, and their labors to cultivate the unfamiliar fields in which God has placed them. They are real about their own sufferings and the sufferings they encounter in the lives of those they serve. They paint a realistic picture of what serving Jesus in 2021 looks like.
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A Look Into the Heart of the Person
Each of the chapters in the book is written by a different Sister (including Blessed is She’s Sister Maria Kim-Ngân Bùi). She shares a bit of her story (past and present), her unique experience, blessings, and challenges in living out the Lord’s specific call on her life in this specific vocation. Each Sister also shares a bit about her interior life. But further—and what is even more captivating—is how evidently the fruit of that interior life overflows into every word she writes. We catch glimpses of each Sister’s unique spirituality in the way she writes about prayer and in the way she writes about hand-lettering on social media.
Through this intentional presentation, it is easy for each of us to see ourselves in these stories and to ponder: what is God asking of me?
Contemplatives in Action
The Daughters of St. Paul, funnily enough, are not actually nuns. Since they are contemplative religious in active roles in the world, they are religious sisters. But the heart behind #millenialnuns is evident and is perfectly expressed by the co-founder of The Daughters of St. Paul, Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo:
How beautiful and holy it is to communicate Jesus, whom we want to always carry in the center of our heart.
Millennials Nuns deserves a spot on your TBR list—in fact, bump it up to the top. And then let us—and them—know what you think of it. You know they’ll be on Instagram.
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