What vows does a nun take
and what do they mean?
answering your question, here's some background.
the centuries, some Christians, women and men, led by a grace of the
Holy Spirit, have sought to follow Jesus in a stable form of life that
helps them imitate him who was poor, chaste, and obedient unto death.
The church describes them as leading a consecrated life. They may belong
to a number of groups in the church that differ according to the graces
given them. Some follow Jesus in his prayer, some as he proclaimed the
Kingdom of God and did good to people, some as he taught others. In
a special way they seek to serve God, to build up the church, and work
for the salvation of the world.
answer your specific question, nuns are women who may belong to one
of these groups. They take the three vows--poverty, chastity and obedience--which
flow from the evangelical counsels of Jesus Christ.
vow of poverty leads a nun to imitate Jesus who for our sake became
poor, although he was rich. It helps her to be poor in spirit as well
as in fact, and to live a life of labor and moderation. By the vow of
poverty , she gives up the right to control or benefit from personal
property and commits herself to live interdependently within a community,
according to its constitutions. The purpose of this vow is to free her
from being fascinated by material things so that she may be free to
vow of chastity leads a nun to imitate Jesus who was chaste. This vow
frees her from the demands of an exclusive human relationship so that
she can give all her love to God, and through God to all people. By
the vow she promises not to marry or to engage in romantic behavior
or sexual acts.
vow of obedience leads the nun to imitate the obedience of Jesus Christ.
by seeking God's will for her and obeying her lawful superiors according
to the constitutions of her particular group. As a member of her religious
community, she searches for the will of God, not in arbitrary commands,
but in prayerful reflection and dialogue with others.