znak OP
Monastery of Nuns of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
Prague - Lysolaje

Common life

As stated in the very first paragraphs of our rule, we gathered in order to have one soul and one heart in God. Indeed - a religious community differs from all other communities because people gathered in it not to understand each other but because God brought them together. It is built on the faith in God who called every individual member of the community. That gives us great hope and confidence that despite all our weaknesses, imperfections and sometimes even disputes, God knows why He brought us together and He will lead us to the eventual goal.

Living together is not easy; on the other hand, it is very joyous. In the middle of our community there is God who called us all. He is the bond of all our relationships, strenghtening and deepening them, teaching us tolerance and patience, mercy and forgiveness, mutual trust and respect. Living togehter means also going through small and big joys, as well as many merry and humorous situations; it brings mutual support, help and advice…

The heart of the house in which we live together is a chapel. Common prayer is the backbone of our life which gives rhythm to the whole day and brings order to all the other activities, such as meditation, study, work, conversations, communication with other people and moments of rest.

All sisters take part in the functioning of the convent according to their gifts, abilities and current needs of the community. We take turns in cooking, cleaning, ironing and also various services, such as taking care of the library, sacristy, liturgy, formation of novices, economic matters of the convent etc. The head of the community is a prioress who is not considered its spiritual leader but „the first among equals“, a sister who, in a given period, serves her sisters with love by being in charge of everyday functioning of the community. The prioress is elected for a period of three years by a convent chapter (a body of all sisters of the community with perpetual vows); the chapter also resolves all the important matters in a democratic way.

An important element of common life is so-called recreation which takes place every evening. Together we sit and talk, tell each other various news, share who has asked us for a prayer, what has captured our attention or spoken to us during the day; we have fun, share laughter and jokes together. It is a time of relaxation, refreshment and joy of shared sisterhood. We also welcome every opportunity to celebrate, such as namedays and birthdays. On those occassions, the recreation is usually very colourful, with treats, presents, humorous sketches, singing and dancing…

As our constitutions say, a convent community is a school of love in which Jesus Christ is a teacher with whom all sisters cooperate. The unanimity of our life, rooted in God’s love, should serve as an example of general reconciliation in Christ which is preached by our whole Order.