“Let’s pray for a society that needs God so much”

The experience of the Poor Clares of the Milanese Monastery in the Gorla area: 18 nuns whose day is marked by liturgies and moments of meditation. “In silence we gather a deep thirst for relationship with the Lord”

by Annamaria

The Choir of the Poor Clares

Pray incessantly in the center of the secularized city. This is what happens in several cloistered convents that enrich the city, often in oases of peace and silence that, perhaps hidden behind a simple gate and a wall, are completely unknown to most of the Milanese. Hearts pulsating with life, contemplation, spirituality nourished by prayer as is that of the Poor Clares of the monastery of Santa Chiara in Piazza Piccoli Martiri in the Gorla area, where 18 sisters live and pray, including Sister Chiara Veronica, 68 years old. , cloistered from 41.

What does it mean to pray today and how is your prayer structured throughout the day?
Precisely because we are sisters dedicated to the contemplative life, we have an expression of the prayer that distinguishes us, the Liturgy of the Hours, which finds its source in the strength of the Eucharistic celebration: the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours are the heart of our day, which he is wholly imbued with this prayer. Celebrating God over time is a task entrusted to monastic life: “Seven times a day I praise you”, says the Psalm, and in fact we go in choir for prayer seven times a day, from early morning to conclude with the relaxed moment of Vespers, of meditation, and then, at the end, of the day with Compline. The community prayer is at 6.30, while the personal one begins for each one before. The Vespers prayer is at 9pm.

You are fully inserted in the city context. Do you have contacts with people who ask you for prayers, people who entrust their tribulations to you?
Yes, certainly, almost continuously, both with people who come to the monastery and with those who call and ask for our prayers. This tells us that there is a great need for prayer, not so much as a search for formulas, methods, but as a profound thirst for relationship and silence, to find or rediscover that “you” who is God of which one feels a deep nostalgia. Our society, which tries to confuse this “you” with so much else, in truth needs God.

Have you decided, perhaps during the pandemic or with the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, to dedicate specific prayers to some particularly painful areas or situations?
Prayer is not identifiable with prayers: the latter are a requirement, but prayer as such is above all a dimension of the heart, a relationship with the Lord. In the crucial moments of life, in the situations that are entrusted to us or of which we become aware or for what the world is experiencing now, it happens – I say this from personal and community experience – to multiply not so much the prayers, but to intensify the relationship with the Lord, to stand before him as the sentinels who cry out the desire for hope, the desire for peace.

What is your role in the Monastery?
I have covered many, but I believe that the most beautiful and what truly qualifies me is precisely prayer. We are Poor Sisters, because we are rich in this relationship that is given to us as a gift: prayer is a river in which we are immersed by grace and which continues to flow, welcoming within it all the people, the whole world and the whole city of Milan that we have around us and of which we feel we are an integral part.

Go to the special on the Pastoral Proposal

“Let’s pray for a society that needs God so much”