Can the hidden, silent life of a cloistered nun be a fulfilling one—let alone, to use the whimsical word of Christ himself, a merry one? In the pithy and profound pages of A Right to Be Merry, Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., reveals the the crosses and the joys of that cloistered life.
Our Lord told Margery Kempe, the anchoress of Lynn, that her enclosed life of union with Him gave Him the greatest satisfaction, and gave her “as great a right to be merry as any lady in the world.” (Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.)
Only those who have actually lived the cloistered life can fully appreciate how intertwined are the lives of contemplative nuns. Their hearts may be as “wide as the universe and bottomless as eternity,” yet in the practical details of daily life they must operate and cooperate, work and pray, suffer and celebrate, all within a strict enclosure and all for the sanctification of the world. Removed from this world, they still have “as great a right to be merry as any lady in the world.” “Hidden away from the glare and noise of worldly living,” Mother Mary Francis writes, “we are enclosed in the womb of Holy Church. I walk down the cloisters, and my heart moves to a single tune: Lord, it is good, so good to be here!”
Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., (1921–2006) was abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Roswell, New Mexico. Her many books, essays, poems, and plays circulated her contemplative wisdom to a worldwide audience, making her one of the twentieth century’s most popular spiritual authors. In addition to A Right to Be Merry, Mother Mary Francis’s works include Come, Lord Jesus, My Beloved Is Mine, and A Time of Renewal.
Building Something Beautiful For God –
To Last A Thousand Years
Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey is a Benedictine community belonging to the Solesmes Congregation and, like other monasteries of the Solesmes Congregation, is to be counted among the institutes entirely ordered towards contemplation. It was founded in 1999 from the Abbey of Our Lady of Fontgombault in France and is located in the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Clear Creek became an abbey in 2010 and counts 55 monks, who devote themselves to God alone in the hidden life, in silence and solitude, in constant prayer and willing penance.
After twenty years of existence, we are happy, by the grace of God, to have completed two large buildings and a sizable portion of our abbatial church. We completed the “Chapter House” in 2023 to accommodate the growing number of monks and provide a Sacristy, Infirmary, classrooms and the Chapter itself. Please help us continue this arduous, but important work for the glory of God.
Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey
5804 W Monastery Road
Hulbert, OK 74441-5698
Phone (918) 772-2454