I don’t know if anyone would have an answer to this. I’m not asking from curiosity but I really would like to understand this for a personal reason.
I read in the encyclical on Virginity from Pope Pius XII that those who have the virtue of virginity are the spouses of Christ, according to the early Church Fathers. Pope Pius says this needs to be confirmed through a perpetual vow.
In various books on vocations, the term “consecrated chastity” or “vow of chastity” is also used, and Catholic dictionary for “spouse of Christ” talks of a woman who has vowed her chastity. (I tried doing research on this topic). A nun or a Sister doesn’t need to be a virgin, as a CV does. I’m sure there must be Religious women out there, or those living with private vows, who had sinned before and repented.
My question is - those religious or vowed women, can they still be called brides of Christ? I know there is a whole debate out there on whether only CVs are truly brides of Christ, etc, I do not mean to recreate this debate… this is not about this topic. I’m just wondering, in the way that nuns and others with a vow of chastity can be brides of Christ, is this still applicable to those who are not virgins?
I’ve been really struggling with this… would appreciate any help. I’m discerning my vocation and been going through extreme pain about my past sins against purity, though yes I have confessed them, and they happened many years ago, and I’ve been living chastely. I just feel like i’ll never be truly close to God like I’ve desired to for so long, and this thought discourages me extremely. I’m not doubting God’s forgiveness, but just how to go on from here. Thank you