Brothers V. Sisters & mystical relatisionship?


#1

Question;
**How dose(is) the view of a mystical relationship with our Lord Jesus differ between that of the Sisters & Brothers??? **
Discussion;
I have asked this question of a few Brothers I run into occasionally with various answers & explanations. As such, I am sure, should be the case as everyone’s relationship with our Lord is different & at varying stages of development.
However I am seeking a more general answer. To clarify; More often than not, Sisters, of any order, I have found, if asked, will discuss a relationship with Jesus as their Bridegroom. Them, their self’s, the Bride of Christ. If pressed often they will begin to literally gush over their groom & eventually reach a point of “shyness/meekness” about their relationship, as a newly married couple wood when conversation with friends turned to things of an intimate nature between the new couple. This is truly a humbling & truly amazing experience if ever privileged to witness.
This is not, in general, the case with Brothers (THAT I HAVE MEET, going off experience). The brothers tend to be more intellectually expressive about their relationship, rather than as a courtship, often the relationship is seen as mystically father & son. And any “gushing” seems to be internalized.
**Is this always the case? How often dose it differ? **

   Mystical speaking, I am aware, we are all, male & female, the Bride of Christ our Lord. We are also ALL Sons or daughters of the Father. 

  **Sisters are encouraged to have both a relationship with The Father as a Daughter & as the bride of Christ. Can not a man have both a relationship with The Father as a Son & with our Lord the Bridegroom? **
  Our is it an unwritten rule Brothers will not discuss a relationship between Jesus as the bridegroom because of the SSA issues of late? If that's the case I see it as a grave discourse, unless one had the penitence of actually being effect by SSA, of coarse. The vast majority do not have those worries though.

well hope this, my first thread, is a good one :shrug:

Looking forward to discussions and hope they can stay on topic. If i put this in wrong section please Move & shoot me a line as where it went as I may learn from my mistake.

May Our Lord Bless & keep You :signofcross:


#2

Please do not forget that Brothers, Priests and laymen may become Spouses of Our Lady. This is oft spoken by many
Saints such as St. Louis de Montfort.


#3

You have several things going on here. If you'll bear with me, I'll try to break it down into pieces.

First:

Sisters, nuns and consecrated virgins are not truly brides of Christ. This is allegory. The Bride of Christ is the Church. In reality, all of us are spiritually married to Christ, because all of us are part of the Church.

Second:

The imagery of a women religious as a bride of Christ dates back to the Middle Ages. It's really a young image, compared to the life of the Church.

Third:

It's important to understand why this metaphor began. The popular belief was that a woman was born to be a wife and mother. From the point of view of natural law, this is true. From the point of view of moral law, this is not the case. Moral law does not require that women marry and have children. It requires that women who marry be open to motherhood, big difference.

Gradually, there emerged this metaphor of the female religious as bride of Christ and mother to the faithful. It was compensatory. Over the centuries, it took root and today, many people take this very literally, including some women religious. We have to remember that women religious are not formed in theology, as are male religious. Until Vatican II, theology was reserved to men. Most women religious do not have the theological background to understand the metaphor or the historical background to know its roots and that's fine. There is nothing immoral with the metaphor as long as we remember that it's metaphor, not dogma.

Fourth:

Now, let's look at male religious. Males in Catholic history were not bound to marriage and fatherhood. They never experienced a need to justify themselves or their celibate state. Not thinking about Christ as spouse has nothing to do with homosexuality. It has to do with the absence of a need to use this metaphor.

Fifth:

You're going to get a more intellectual response from brothers than you are from sisters, because generally, brothers are much better educated in theology and philosophy than sisters are. Sisters are usually scholars in secular sciences: education, science, arts, humanities, etc. It is rare to find a sister who has more than a basic level of theological formation. It's not required or offered to them.

Before some sisters hang me by my thumbs, I must say that there are some sisters who are theologians, philosophers, scripture scholars, philosophers and canon lawyers. They're darn good at what they do. This has nothing to do with intelligence. It has to do with tradition. These fields were not open to women until the last 50 years. There are still degrees of theological studies not open to women; but, that's another thread.

Sixth:

There are some male religious who do speak in the feminine about their relationship with Christ. One of them is our Holy Father Francis. In our admonitions he describes Christ as our "spouse, son, and brother." He is spouse, because we are part of his bride the Church. He is our son, because he is the Son of Man. He is our brother, because he is the first-born of many brothers.

Seventh:

Brothers are trained to live and serve in Persona Christi. Sisters, nuns and consecrated virgins are not. Our vocation is to be Christ the brother who leads men to the Father through the grace of the Holy Spirit. The brother views his call as Trinitarian. Women religious are called to the same vocation. However, because of the gender image, this was not stressed in their formation. We do see glimpses of it in the writings of such women religious as Edith Stein who said, that if anyone came to her, she wanted to lead them to the Father. Mother Teresa spoke of leading men to God.

I hope this helps.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#4

[quote="FooFee, post:2, topic:279106"]
Please do not forget that Brothers, Priests and laymen may become Spouses of Our Lady. This is oft spoken by many
Saints such as St. Louis de Montfort.

[/quote]

That's not literally true. St. Louis was speaking in metaphor. The Church has never embraced this in Mariology. This is very particular to St. Louis de Montfort's spirituality. It's not part of Christian Spirituality. The Council of Trent, Vatican II and Vita Consacrata are very clear on the place of male religious in the life of the Church. They do not share a place with either the laity or the clergy. They have a place of their own which is both essential to the life of the Church and independent of all other vocations.

There is no joint sharing of some mystical espousal to the Blessed Mother. The consecration to Mary is open to all the faithful; but it is not a mystical marriage. St. Louis uses this imagery, because it was simple for people without theological formation to understand the intimate relationship between humanity and the Mother of God.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#5

How do you perceive a relationship between the Lord & religious ? Strictly intellectually & metaphorically & if not please expound.
And If a relationship of any type with the Lord is then only seen as a metaphor,i.e; weather bride & bridegroom, Father & son/daughter, etc., Then what of so many books on the subject? Many by Religious & priest.
What is the churches teaching, on such relationships with the Lord, via catechism, Vatican council, etc? And what is “correct” theological view of the same?

thx for the aide you lend, as i have yet to study much theology in depth such as one would in formation :thumbsup:

St John of the Cross;
God sustains every soul and dwells in it substantially, even though it be that of the greatest sinner in the world, and this union is natural. The supernatural union exists when God’s will and the soul’s will are in conformity. Therefore the soul rests transformed in God through love. The illumination of the soul and its **union with God **corresponds to its purity.

So to better clarify;
is not this Union spoken of very much indicative of some form of relationship? One cannot be in union if one if separated apart from a "relationship with the Lord…Or can they


#6

[quote="w0lfy, post:5, topic:279106"]
So then brother JR,

How do you perceive a relationship between the Lord & religious ? Strictly intellectually & metaphorically & if not please expound.
And ***If*** a relationship of any type with the Lord is then only seen as a metaphor,i.e; weather bride & bridegroom, Father & son/daughter, etc., Then what of so many books on the subject? Many by Religious & priest. 

What is the churches teaching, on such relationships with the Lord, via catechism, Vatican council, etc? And what is "correct" theological view of the same?

thx for the aide you lend, as i have yet to study much theology in depth such as one would in formation :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Man's relationship with God is not a metaphor. It's very real. Metaphor is the easiest way to explain it given the limitations of human language. It is very difficult to articulate it without the use of metaphor as we can see in Jesus' use of parables. There are some things that are best understood through symbolic language.

For example, Catherine of Siena speaks of Mystical Marriage or a spiritual wedding to explain the fact that the human soul is called to union with the divine. That is our ultimate goal and the reason for our existence. Our relationship with God can well be explained using the marriage metaphor. Just a spouses grow closer to each other as they get to know each other, so too does the soul grow closer to its beloved at it grows in intimacy with the Beloved.

This intimacy is not achieved at the rite of religious profession. The rite of religious profession is the beginning of a long journey that comes to fulfillment in eternity. In this sense the relationship between the religious and God is a covenant relationship, just as the covenants of the scriptures. Covenants are not the end, but the starting point. Religious profession is the point at which the covenant between the religious and God is signed. You become totally his and he becomes your present and your destiny.

This is the difference between a vow of chastity and a promise of celibacy. In consecrated chastity you're doing more than giving up the natural right to marriage in order to serve God and his people. You're giving back to God the only thing that you own and that no one can take away from you. Only you can surrender you heart, mind, body and soul. Through consecrated chastity you surrender to God as a spouses surrender to each other.

Obedience is also part of this covenant. Unlike the promise of obedience that a secular cleric makes to his bishop at ordination, consecrated obedience or the vow of obedience is intimately linked to the vow of chastity. You not only surrender your mind, body and soul, but you also surrender your will, desires, wishes to make room for His will, desires and wishes. You vow that you will embrace his will and make it your own, not through force, but out of love. This becomes part of the means to union of the soul and the divine.

Then, finally there is the most important of all the vows, poverty. Holy poverty binds you to move everything that interferes with growth with the free gift of self and will out of your life. You begin with the external attachments and work your way inward until you reach the one thing to which we are more attached than anything else, our selves. Our relationship with God cannot reach its ultimate end, until we become totally poor.

It is at that point that we sit back and God takes over and carries the soul across the threshold, as a groom carries the bride.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#7

Thank you very much inded for both excellent and concise responses, Brother JR - have put them both on file!


#8

[quote="TiggerS, post:7, topic:279106"]
Thank you very much inded for both excellent and concise responses, Brother JR - have put them both on file!

[/quote]

I'm very glad they are of some help.

Have a blessed Holy Week and a glorious Easter!

Br. JR, OSF :)


#9

[quote="JReducation, post:8, topic:279106"]
I'm very glad they are of some help.

Have a blessed Holy Week and a glorious Easter!

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

They certainly are and will be of much help. And a blessed Holy Week and glorious Easter to you and all also!


#10

I agrree Jr thanks so much for your replies & clarification. Much to ponder on. Its the union with God that i was aiming at as subject, I just did not find st johns quote till laters lol :rolleyes:

Though the subject of relationships with the Lord have come up on the forum I could not find one from such a perspective.

I think this thread may be of some help to others as it has us so far.Thx again for you time & response brother


#11

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