The Jesus Cage


It’s like, Abbie, here you give it all.
You give Jesus everything. Even visiting home.
Even going to see Mama when she’s sick.
Even to go to her funeral.
Even to go to the wake, just down the street at the cathedral.
It’s like, you give him all. You give him everything.
And that’s what the enclosure is and that’s why we treasure it so much.
And that’s why these bars are here.
— A Rockford Poor Clare nun

The Story of the Jesus Cage

A mother informed her four-year-old daughter the family was going to visit the girl's great-aunt at the Rockford monastery. The girl had visited before and said, "Oh yes, Mommy that’s the one that’s in the cage." The mother was appalled. But when the family shared the story with the great-aunt — a Poor Clare Colettine nun — she was delighted: "She knew this looked like a little cage at a zoo or something but she knew it was much deeper than that. This connected Jesus. Now I thought that was pretty profound."

The great-aunt shared the story with the other nuns and everyone laughed. The nuns make a distinction, though: The metal grille doesn't restrict the nuns or keep them in; the grille — the separation — keeps the world out.