What do nuns believe? (what are the vows and beliefs of a nun?)

I have always been intrigued to learn more about nuns. As a theologian, I have interacted with nuns during my various study tours and trips. I have even visited the Catholic Church to just interact with the nuns and learn more about them. Last week, as we discussed various denominations in my Bible study group, a member randomly asked about the beliefs of nuns. It was an interesting discussion as I explained to them the beliefs and vows of a nun since I am well-informed about their lives and practices. So, what do nuns believe?

The beliefs of nuns are based on chastity, obedience, poverty, and faith. Nuns take solemn vows to lead simple lives of service in the monastery or convent. They dedicate their lives to religious studies, prayer, and service to God and humanity.

So, join me as we debunk some facts about the beliefs of a nun and the vows they take. I will also discuss how different nuns’ vows are from sisters’ vows. So, keep reading to learn more.

Do nuns believe in the vows they take?

Nuns believe in the vows they take as they are required to live by them. These vows govern their lifestyle and how they serve the community and church. By taking these vows, nuns commit to living by them and letting go of worldly pleasures. The three main vows that nuns take include; chastity, obedience, and the vow of poverty. Therefore, they have to live simple lives, obey their superiors, and abstain from any form of sexual activity.

What vows do nuns take?

what are the vows and beliefs of a nun?
What vows do nuns take? Image source: Pinterest

Nuns take three vows, vow of poverty, obedience, and chastity. The vow of poverty is based on Proverbs 19:17 and requires all nuns to give up the right to own or benefit from their property. This means they only have what they need, but all their salary and belongings are used to serve the church and community.

Another vow is the celibacy or chastity vow, which is based on Mathew 16:24. This vows bars nuns from getting married or engaging in sexual activities of any kind. They are expected to entirely abstain and dedicate their lives, fully and wholly, to Christ.

The last vow is that of obedience and is based on John 14:23. Nuns take this vow to be a reflection of the obedience of Jesus Christ. This vow requires them to obey their lawful superiors and seek God’s will in everything they do.

How are nuns’ vows different from sisters’ vows?

Though some people use nun and sister interchangeably, these two groups are not the same. Furthermore, these two groups take the same vows (obedience, poverty, and chastity), but the nature of their vows varies. Sisters’ vows are simple, while nuns’ vows are solemn. The key difference between simple and solemn vows is that simple vows can be renounced, while solemn ones are perpetual and must be endured until death. This means that once a nun takes these vows, they cannot return. However, for sisters, the vows they take can be temporary.

What are the religious beliefs of Catholic nuns?

what are the vows and beliefs of a nun?
What are the religious beliefs of Catholic nuns? Image source: Pixabay

Nuns devote their lives to religious service and vows that guide them. Therefore, some nuns dedicate their whole lives to prayer, while others offer community services like helping the needy. The responsibilities and beliefs of a nun revolve around living a pure and prayerful life.

By virtue of their vows, the Catholic nuns believe they are not supposed to own any property. Furthermore, they believe that they have to lead sexually pure lives. This allows them to be free from any demands that come with a romantic relationship, thus allowing them to “get married to God,” meaning that it is only Christ who is on their mind. Thus, they serve Him fully.

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