Brother such and such?
Sister so on?
Bishop and Reverend Father/Mother?
This is self-revealing. In certain ways, it is driven by ego and a lack of esteem for self.
The titles offer personal sanctuary and spiritual elevation where, perhaps, that risen state
is not appropriate. The title lifts where the person may hide. I say this for I feel that I do this and it is become a revelation to me.
In my day, I meet people. 'Sister, they nod' ... That is a feel good and personal/emotional massage. People show their respect for the Life of a Religious and that is all well and good; however, if I thrive on the attention, live for the recognition, need that noticing: something is very amiss, indeed.
In my heart lies a Hermit. In my heart lives a Hidden life for Christ. Wearing a Habit on the outside of my enclosure where others peer into my privacy and perhaps wonder of the life being publicly displayed, prayer is being said and pondered about that.
A monastic Habit worn outside the Hermitage is a signpost of a life lived for something larger and more potent than myself. That I do believe. How I wish to state that another way exists in this land of profound materialism and 'give-everything-to-me-now-especially-if-it-new' mindset and culture.
What need be kept in the forefront of my mind and heart is that the black monastic Habit does not become something of vanity, pride, and self-absorption. Indeed, that the black monastic Habit state both to myself and to all that this person has died to the World and lives NOW in Christ Jesus, through Mary, ever-Virgin.
Oh, may this be so.