The Quaker Testimonies of Amigas del Señor
Each person in the world lives her or his values. The lived values may not be the spoken values, but the life lived speaks the truth. Nuns, of course, are no different. Like yours, our physical habits represent our spiritual habits.
Habits of Simplicity
We wear uniforms, called habits, because we wear them habitually. We each have three jumper/dresses and four blouses. No energy is spent concerning fashion. No time is spent wondering what is appropriate to wear. No self-analysis is done about what we “feel like” wearing. We just get up in the morning and put on our clothes. We are always dressed for any occasion.
For wood cutting and garden work, we wear (with the same blouses) pants and rubber boots for protection. For everything else we wear habits and flipflops.
We make our own clothing using a treadle sewing machine.
Habits of Peace
Material poverty is our Peace testimony. Our physical habits reflect our spiritual habit of accepting, using, keeping only our fair share of the world’s material and energy resources, because social and economic justice are integral to peace.
Habits of Equality
At Amigas del Señor, we all wear the same clothing, the same colors, the same basic design. When seen from afar, we all look alike. We have no “stars,” no prima donnas. We are all sisters, together.
Equality applies not just within the monastery, but also in relationship to others. We do not dress up more to spend time with an “important” person, nor do we dress down to spend time with a “lesser” person. All are equal and all are treated, as well as we can, with love and respect.
Habits of Community
Our habits remind us visually every day that we are a community, that we are sisters one to another. Each day as I put on my habit, I am choosing to be part of this monastic community today.
We also have our place in the neighborhood; our habits identify us as belonging with one another and to God. We are the local nuns; the “little sisters” we are called.
Habits of Integrity
Wearing a habit helps us to remember that we are each all of a piece, that our lives are integrated. Each part of my life fits into the whole. There is not a frivolous persona to be put aside for the sober persona. There is no intellectual persona to be put aside for the manual worker persona. There is no persona at all. I am just who I am at each moment of the day in whatever company with whatever activity. I am who I am. I am your sister. I am God’s daughter.
The Sisters of Amigas del Señor
Limón, Colón, Honduras
Spiritually sharing in a “Covenant of Caring” with Multnomah Monthly Meeting, Portland, Oregon
(This first appeared in the March 2011 newsletter of the Mulnomah Monthly Meeting of Friends. www.multnomahfriends.org)