Does one have to be consecrated to be a bride of Christ?


Does one have to be consecrated in order to be a bride of Christ? I don’t think I can become a nun and I don’t think I can become a consecrated virgin–despite the fact that I am a physical virgin who believes all the Church teaches. This is because I told a friend about sexual sins I committed; I was talking to her about how I was in and out of Grace because of these sins and how I wished to stop committing them (I’ve gotten much better at not committing them. If I ever do commit them these days, I’m never sure if I have afterwards.) Apparently as soon as someone knows you have committed a sexual sin outside the confessional, you’re disqualified from becoming a consecrated virgin. This is what I gleaned from talking to a consecrated virgin, although maybe in my case there’s an exception? Maybe there could be an exception made for me if I wrote to Pope? Anyway, I made a private vow of chastity to God and I was wondering if that makes me married to God, as that’s what I wanted and intended?


If you are no longer committing the sin, have been to confession and received absolution there should no a reason for looking into religious life. There are communities that accept widows and older women. My advise it to stop telling your friend about any past sins and to speak to a priest. Some of the greatest saints have committed similar sins and turned their lives around.


I believe that as long as you abstain from sexual pleasures that yes you can be a consecrated virgin.

You meet the prerequisite of being a physical virgin

You are no longer commiting impure acts

So I would think that you could


I have confessed the sins already and was telling my friend about them when they were still an issue. I don’t talk to her about them anymore. I don’t think any religious community would accept someone who has had a mental break down.


I read that one must not have made an open violation of chastity and that that means committing a serious sexual sin with someone else, in their presence or telling someone about it outside the confessional.


I guess a lot of people would not be eligible for religious life, then. People cannot talk about their past sins and how they have been forgiven by God and turned their lives around? There are communities who accept older women and even the ones for young women take girls up to age 30… and by 30 a lot of people have committed a sexual sin that others have found out about (sinners are often open about their sins, especially if they do not believe them to be sins at the time). Maybe God was calling them to religious life all along but they were too trapped in sin to notice until they were in their late 20’s?


If you didn’t commit the sin WITH someone, that’s not the same. An open violation of chastity means committing the sin with another person. This means that, as long as the person does not have proof you committed the sin, you are not ineligible. Of course, I do recommend talking to your spiritual director first. :wink:


You mean a lot of people are not eligible to be a consecrated virgin. At least from what I read I gleaned I would not be eligible for that. I’m still trying to figure out if there would be an exception in my case. If not, I will write to Pope Francis about this to see if an exception can be made.

Are there any religious communities that would accept a woman who has had a mental break down?


I would be careful about discussing this on a public forum.

Mental breakdown–what exactly are you meaning? “Nervous breakdown” with hospital time? I know a priest who had one, and he was taught how not to let things pile up on him. Active orders used to teach ‘one thing at a time.’ I’m not sure if they still do.

In the religious life there is something called ‘correction’ and your sisters will be constantly in your face (sometimes literally) about your faults. This is one reason why someone who isn’t mentally stable is disqualified for the religious life. They either fall apart or they get violent.

There were many great sinners who were unchaste. If you’re still having problems, I would suggest both the St. Benedict medal and the Green Scapular, combined with Confession.

Have you had the Sacrament of the Sick for the mental breakdown issue?



I’m stable now and impurity isn’t nearly as big of an issue for me as it was.


As a member of the Church, you are part of the Bride of Christ. Consecrated virgins represent the Church most fully as Virgin, Bride, and Mother. Members of religious or secular institutes and diocesan hermits participate in being Bride of Christ less than CVs but more fully than people who are not consecrated. People with a private vow of chastity also participate more in the sign value of being a bride than people who are married or do not have such a vow. It seems that if you really want a consecration, your best option at this point might be to join a Secular Institute. Private vows are not to be sneezed at, however. Some of our greatest saints were laywomen in private vows: St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Rose of Lima come to mind.


The OP is talking about consecrated virginity, which is a different vocation from religious life, although some nuns are also consecrated virgins because they go receive this additional consecration. Virginity is not a requirement for religious life or for any form of consecrated life other than consecrated virginity. The only Church vocation that requires virginity is consecrated virginity. Marriage, the priesthood, and all the other vocations are open to **chaste **men and women.


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