Can all Catholics be married to Jesus? Is there some other aspect to being married to Him other than being a bride of Christ in the religious life sense? Are we all called to be married to Him in on sense or another? I need to understand what exactly a marriage proposal from God means.
**To you men of all nations, then who make up the Church of Christ, you the members of Christ, you, the body of Christ, you, the bride of Christ – to all of you the Apostle addresses these words: ‘Bear with one another in love; do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ **
*- Saint Gregory of Agrigento (d. 594), Feast Day November 23 *
796 The unity of Christ and the Church, head and members of one Body, also implies the distinction of the two within a personal relationship. This aspect is often expressed by the image of bridegroom and bride. The theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist.234 The Lord referred to himself as the "bridegroom."235 The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride “betrothed” to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him.236 The Church is the spotless bride of the spotless Lamb.237 "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her."238 He has joined her with himself in an everlasting covenant and never stops caring for her as for his own body:239
This is the whole Christ, head and body, one formed from many . . . whether the head or members speak, it is Christ who speaks. He speaks in his role as the head (ex persona capitis) and in his role as body (ex persona corporis). What does this mean? "The two will become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the Church."240 And the Lord himself says in the Gospel: "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."241 They are, in fact, two different persons, yet they are one in the conjugal union, . . . *as head, he calls himself the bridegroom, as body, he calls himself “bride.”*242
Yeah the Church is the Bride of Christ. Isn’t a nun also a bride of Christ? Is there any other way to be a bride of Christ? How are married lay people brides of Christ?
If God whispered a marriage proposal to your heart, does that mean your vocation is to religious life?
The Church is The Bride of Christ, and The Church is Her membership - hence every baptised soul is a Bride of Christ. Religious commit to live their baptism (and their spousal call and vocation) quite radically - so do some lay people married or single. Married people are Brides of Christ by baptism. Basically, as I underlined in the quotation from the Catholic Catechism in my previous post, baptism calls us to Unity with Christ, to become one with Him through obedience to God’s Will in all the circumstances of our lives. Most often, our duties of our state in life spell out for us quite broadly God’s Will for us.
If one feels an attraction to religious life by whatever means, then one should look into a religious vocation very seriously. It is highly unusual to actually hear Christ speaking and if one does, before taking it seriously, one should have it confirmed by a priest (or trained spiritual director) ideally in spiritual direction. The actual voice of Christ heard can come about by various means - one’s imagination, even the devil - or it might be a real locution (or the voice of Christ actually heard).
I don’t really want to get into details on my spiritual life. I do have a spiritual director, and my experiences are irrelevant to this question. So worry not, my friend. I’d rather keep this discussion on a theoretical level and not make it personal to anybody.
So. What I gather from your responses is that if a baptized Catholic hears a marriage proposal from God, it is a complete farce because she is already a bride of Christ in the only way possible and so it is completely illogical to be called into a deepening of that marriage or some other type of real, symbolic, or spiritual marriage. There is nothing more to being a bride of Christ than being a baptized Catholic.
Obviously (for example) if religious life is a radical commitment to one’s baptism in poverty, chastity and obedience - there can be much more to baptism itself than just being baptised. If one investigates and takes one’s baptism very seriously, there is much, very much, to being a committed Catholic and taking Jesus and His Gospel very seriously in daily life.
So. What I gather from your responses is that if a baptized Catholic hears a marriage proposal from God it is a complete farce
Too much to the above statement to comment - but I wouldn’t state it is of necessity a complete farce. Spiritual marriage is a reality according to our mystic saints. At baptism we are already a Spouse of Christ, but not all take that very seriously just as one can be married and not be the best of spouses.
But if one does hear Jesus speak - then prudence and wisdom ask that it be submitted to spiritual direction and most, I should think, would not speak about it openly - but this is only my presupposition. Humility, I think would likely preclude speaking about it without actual necessity.
My take on the OP:
In marriage, the two become one; marriage is the only sacrament where the couple receive from each other. Through being married, their lives are intertwined - put simply, they are each a part of the other’s life.
Our relationship with Christ is similar, He calls us into a relationship with God and provides us with an example to follow. He calls us to give our whole lives over to him (just like a couple do to each other in marriage) by imitating his example in how we live our own lives. the more we give of ourselves over to him (through trusting completely in him and the will of God), the closer we become to him and the more we become like him.
God does speak to us, although not normally in an audible way. He calls us to give our lives over to Him and to trust that we will find true happiness in His love. The challenge for us to to learn to listen carefully and to recognise the voice of God. That’s where prayer comes into play and why, when praying, it’s important that we listen to God as well as speaking to him.
There are two definitions of the “bride of Christ” in Catholic tradition:
The Church, as a whole, is the Bride of Christ. Therefore, as a member of the Body of Christ, we are each, mystically, a part of the Bride. This is why there will be no marriage in heaven - it’s no longer necessary, as we are ALL part of the Body, the Church, which is the Eternal Bride.
A nun is often referred to as the “bride of Christ”; in fact, nuns used to wear wedding gowns on the day they took their final vows, for this very reason. Technically, a nun is indeed married to Christ. (A priest is married to the Church.)
[LEFT]If one is not quoting authoritative Church Teaching then primarily it is only personal opinion. What The Church has to say settles the matter for Catholics ideally.[/LEFT]
796 The unity of Christ and the Church, head and members of one Body, also implies the distinction of the two within a personal relationship. This aspect is often expressed by the image of bridegroom and bride. The theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist.234 The Lord referred to himself as the “bridegroom.”
235 The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride “betrothed” to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him.236 The Church is the spotless bride of the spotless Lamb.237 "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her."238 He has joined her with himself in an everlasting covenant and never stops caring for her as for his own body:239
A nun really is a bride of Christ? That’s pretty cool. TiggerS if nuns truly are brides of Christ in a special way, why are you so emphatic that only the Church is the bride of Christ? Bitter or is the nuns being a bride of Christ merely a cultural thing?
My understanding is that priests and religious have forsaken earthly marriage for the heavenly marriage. Therefore, their vocations are a representation of the Mystical Marriage.
I don’t think you are referring to my post
If my quotes from the Catholic Catechism in previous posts are read, it can be seen that The Church teaches that all baptised faithful are brides of Christ. If the term “bride of Christ” or “spouse of Christ” speaks to one and in some meaningful even powerful manner, then use it. If you read previous threads, you will see that the terms do not work for male religious and from the male religious CA members themselves. The terms do not work for all as a Catholic cultural usage term - over and above that, The Church’s teaching (as per quoted Catholic Catechism - and restated below) stands.
Speaking as an aside for myself, I am not bitter and nothing to be bitter about. What I am is concerned to discern our Catholic theology and what The Church teaches and that I rightly understand - and with a responsibility as a Catholic to do so and to state it.
Catholic Catechism (previously quoted)
Para 796 (in part) "The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride “betrothed” to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him.236 " (The whole Para 796 can be found here scborromeo.org/ccc/para/796.htm )