What does it mean to be the Bride of Christ; how is the Eucharist a part of the anticipated Marriage or Union with God?


#1

Please help this new Catholic of 3 years understand what it means to be the Bride of Christ.

While a catechumen in RCIA, I was excited to learn that marriage was a Sacrament that was given to us to bring us closer to God.

Sadly, I am divorced and have not experienced nor have witnessed many marriages that are sacramental in nature. Thus, I am confused as to what marriage to Christ will look like.

During my dark years before God brought me into the fold, marriage was the “license” you got so that you could be sexually free with another and not in sin. That’s pretty much it…nothing about bringing God the glory in the union. It was all quite selfish.

I questioned a cradle Catholic friend about my concern, and he said that the Eucharist was sexual in nature. I am confused. I do not believe that there will be anything sexual with God. As far as I can guess, sex as we know it is symbolic if anything of what to expect with our LORD in heaven.

So my question stands, what will marriage to our God be like?


#2

I’m sorry, but that is just bizarre. I’m a cradle Catholic and know many other cradle Catholics, some who practice and some who don’t, and typically all of us cradles are extremely squicked out thinking of sex and anything considered very “holy” in the same context. I have known men who would think of “holy” things in order to turn OFF sexual desire.

Surely you must have met some people in the world who have good, happy marriages where the two people are supportive to each other and love each other and try to do what’s best for each other.
That is what the marriage between Christ and his Church is like, ideally.

It is not sexual.


#3

I’m wondering if the friend meant (or even actually said), that Christ joins with us in the Eucharist; and husbands and wives join together sexually?


#4

Even in this world, marriage is a lot more than sex, and sex can be much more than desire and pleasure. The love and joy and oneness we experience in marriage and sex may prefigure heavenly bliss, but as a metaphor it certainly has its limits.

In my own life, music gives me a rather intense feeling of ecstasy. Someone else might get the same feeling from a delicious prime rib dinner. We might say that these experiences are similar in some way to sex, and yet they are completely different.

Let’s just say that God has created us for love, joy, and oneness unlike anything we have experienced.


#5

Yeah, that would make sense.
Christ becomes one with me when I receive Him in the Eucharist. It is like a mystical union of Christ with my soul, accomplished through the Eucharist entering my body.
However, I don’t think of it as a sexual joining for the reasons mentioned above.

Historically, there may have been some saints, mystics and scholars who were able to equate it to sexual union in some way. I seem to recall there were some Spanish poets who explored this idea a few hundred years ago, and St. Catherine of Siena perhaps. But for the vast majority of us in today’s Western culture, the thought would be somewhere between uncomfortable and blasphemous.


#6

Hi and thank you for your response.

Of the many couples that I have met, very few live Sacramental lives. I have met many who are dedicated to each other and are struggling to make things work…for themselves. Look at the divorce rate in the church.

The cradle Catholic friend to whom I referred in my post has said many things that have confused me about the church. Our conversations are mostly about Church teaching.

When a Protestant, I read Holy Scripture through several times. Also, when being drawn by the Holy Spirit into our Faith, I attended a couple of RCIA courses since the initial RCIA class. I am so hungry for truth. Anyway, a lot of cradle Catholics say that some of us newer members know more about church teaching than those raised in the Faith. My friend appreciates when I share what I have learned in regards to some of the not so accurate things about the Church that he shares with me. I’m the baby teaching the grown up Catholic!

That being said, there is so much I do not know and want to understand about our Faith to help me have a closer relationship to our Lord, thus I introduced the question for this topic, especially since my friend’s answer did not sit well with me.

In the past, I visited Catholic Answers to become more educated about our Faith. I decided I had better join CA and post my question because I need enlightenment. It concerns me that there are so many strange ideas coming from members of our Faith…ideas that are not at all based on Holy Scripture, Tradition, or Magisterium.

Thank you again for addressing one item.

However, what is the answer to my question?

Sincerely,

KAMMY, baby Catholic


#7

He said that it was “sexual.”


#8

Thank you for your reply!


#9

Yes, absolutely “uncomfortable.”


#10

Saying that the Eucharist

“may prefigure heavenly bliss, but as a metaphor it certainly has its limits”

is helping me understand.

Do not all of the Sacraments prefigure the reality of heaven? Metaphorically?


#11

Thank you my Catholic friends for easing my mind!!!


#12

So you become the body of Christ with Eucharist. Her Church Christ married and died for.


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