I have a silly question. If one views Jesus as a spouse in the purest way, does that automatically mean they have a religious vocation? Can they be in a married vocation and still see Jesus as their spouse?
Have no idea of the theology but it just sounds wrong somehow.It is probably linguistics and I would not object if my wife had the closest of relationships to Christ that is more important to her than me. I would expect it. But in looking at the word, I would believe I was her only spouse. Better used in the vocational setting of a nun in my opinion.
Think you need to ask a higher Authority about this Question,
It is a language issue. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s the love one has for a spouse in a deep intimate way but in the purest sense. Hope that makes sense.
Additionally, the Bride is depicted in the last 21 verses of Proverbs and is the profitable family firm in terms of spiritual gifts.
When I was a little girl, I asked my dad " why does that priest have a ring in the ring finger?" And my dad explained to me that “priests can’t get married because they are already married to God.”
The confusion over “spouse” and “husband” etc. has probably come about through romantic notions of religious life - and trying to work out how one can be a spouse,or husband of Jesus (using marriage as one’s reference point).
I think of it this way - in terms of Catholic theology, “spouse” or “married” means “united to”…marriage: the two shall become one flesh. Therefore one can be married and still regard Jesus as the ‘primary’ spouse. By Sacramental marriage one is called to be united to God through the marriage vows and one’s husband - and so one is a spouse in two senses of the word as it were - in reality they are one, not two (therefore, it can be said that there is no ‘primary’ spouse at all).
However, through a vow of celibacy for the sake of The Kingdom, there is no intermediary (i.e. one’s husband or wife) as in marriage. Be this as it may, both the Sacrament of Marriage and a vow of celibacy, religious life, etc. one has the means of being fully united to God, while the vow of celibacy, religious life etc could be said to be a more direct means, although I personally do not hold to this. Certainly, celibacy for the sake of The Kingdom can be said to be a rather uncommon and special gift or charism. The vocation and call to marriage is far more common and the ordinary path for most, but not all.
CCC 1617 The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bath.111 which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist. Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church. Since it signifies and communicates grace, marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant…112
CCC **1620 **Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will.117 Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom118 and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other:
**1620 **Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will.117 Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom118 and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other:
Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good.119
I think each soul is meant for a spousal relationship with God and that would be everyone’s reality in Heaven, and there are married mystics who also had a spousal relationship with God in this mystical sense. Every Saint including married Saints reached the stage of Mystical Marriage or the 7th mansion of St Teresa of Avila. This is one sense of the term.
But there’s another meaning of this spousal imagery which is vocational. This is most applicable to women with a perpetual vow of chastity or virginity, like nuns. They are living out this Heavenly reality already on earth. All are called to Sainthood, but their life mirrors the life of Heaven in a special way, because there we would not be married. There are also Consecrated Virgins (a separate vocation from nuns), who are actually defined by this title very directly in the Church documents and in their consecration.
I guess discernment in this case would be seeing if you are called to this type of relationship with God in the first or the second sense if a spousal relationship with Christ is very important to you and if you have a desire to love Him in an exclusive way, that can potentially mean something else than just liking the imagery. Or, perhaps liking this imagery is the first step to a religious vocation and it would grow over time. maybe it could help to speak to a vocations director or get an SD if you don’t currently have one…