Will a nun be a nun forever in heaven?


#1

This question just came across my mind today and I don’t really know the answer to it, so I’m posting it here to see what anyone might have to share.

I have heard that when a man becomes a priest he is a priest forever. I was wondering if it was the same for nuns? For instance, if a young woman becomes a nun, dies and by God’s judgment enters heaven, will she be a nun in heaven as well? I have heard people speaking of those in heaven having a profession.


#2

We do not know what happens to us in the afterlife. We pray that we are with the Lord in heaven and that we see our loved ones again, but besides that, who knows or could know what life is like in heaven?


#3

[quote="AnneElizabeth, post:1, topic:308166"]
This question just came across my mind today and I don't really know the answer to it, so I'm posting it here to see what anyone might have to share.

I have heard that when a man becomes a priest he is a priest forever. I was wondering if it was the same for nuns? For instance, if a young woman becomes a nun, dies and by God's judgment enters heaven, will she be a nun in heaven as well? I have heard people speaking of those in heaven having a profession.

[/quote]

Priests receive an indellible mark on their soul when they are ordained to the priesthood (just as we all receive indellible marks through Baptism and Confirmation). It's the nature of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. That is why they are "priests forever."

It is not the same with women religious or non-ordained men religious.


#4

Becoming a nun, or any other kind of religious, does not leave an indelible mark on the soul the way Holy Orders (also Baptism and Confirmation, by the way) does. However, religious life and especially contemplative religious life is a sort of mirror of the life of heaven, and so especially in the case of contemplative nuns I dare say there will be a degree of continuity between their earthly vocation and their life in heaven.


#5

So the term "Holy Orders" only is pertaining to priesthood?


#6

[quote="AnneElizabeth, post:5, topic:308166"]
So the term "Holy Orders" only is pertaining to priesthood?

[/quote]

Yes, Holy Orders is one of the seven sacraments of the Church with three degrees: deacon, priest, bishop.

Women and men religious take vows, but they do not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.


#7

Ok thanks! I guess I was thinking Holy Orders were pertaining to monks, friars, nuns and sisters too. Good to know. Thanks again!


#8

Holy Orders applies to priests and deacons, but not to nuns, sisters or brothers.

Being a nun most likely has nO meaning in the next life, as per our LORD there is no marriage there to abstain from, and in all likelihood no cloister to be called to.

Blessed Advent, ICXC NIKA


#9

I would be hesitant to say it has no meaning in the next life whatsoever. The way we live our lives now will have an effect on the next life. It's tough to say what that will look like exactly, of course.

But it's different in kind to ordained clergy because of the whole "indellible mark on the soul" thing.


#10

[quote="AnneElizabeth, post:1, topic:308166"]
This question just came across my mind today and I don't really know the answer to it, so I'm posting it here to see what anyone might have to share.

I have heard that when a man becomes a priest he is a priest forever. I was wondering if it was the same for nuns? For instance, if a young woman becomes a nun, dies and by God's judgment enters heaven, will she be a nun in heaven as well? I have heard people speaking of those in heaven having a profession.

[/quote]

Anyone who finds themselves in heaven, is a saint.

I truly hope to be one of them someday. :D


#11

Nuns- the percentage of nuns that is- who are consecrated virgins and consecrated virgins living in the world will be a Spouse of Christ forever in heaven. The consecration even if not a sacrament does give a "special annointing" of the Holy Spirit and it lasts "forever" according to the Rite. Not so for other religious who do not receive the consecration to a life of virginity.


#12

[quote="SerraSemper, post:11, topic:308166"]
Nuns- the percentage of nuns that is- who are consecrated virgins and consecrated virgins living in the world will be a Spouse of Christ forever in heaven. The consecration even if not a sacrament does give a "special annointing" of the Holy Spirit and it lasts "forever" according to the Rite. Not so for other religious who do not receive the consecration to a life of virginity.

[/quote]

What about nuns who are not virgins, but have later repented and entered religious life... Does this apply to them too? If they take the vow of chastity, they are still consecrating themselves, even though they have made a mistake in the past--they are still espoused to Christ, right? Just curious...


#13

[quote="rissa87, post:12, topic:308166"]
What about nuns who are not virgins, but have later repented and entered religious life... Does this apply to them too? Just curious...

[/quote]

They are not strictly speaking brides of Christ nor virgins but they will be suitably rewarded in Heaven for their celibate lifestyle. Ditto for the monks and friars and brothers and others who have chosen celibacy for the Kingdom but who are not themselves virgins. They do not qualify for the reward of virginity but for chastity. Hope that's clear.


#14

[quote="SerraSemper, post:13, topic:308166"]
They are not strictly speaking brides of Christ nor virgins but they will be suitably rewarded in Heaven for their celibate lifestyle. Ditto for the monks and friars and brothers and others who have chosen celibacy for the Kingdom but who are not themselves virgins. They do not qualify for the reward of virginity but for chastity. Hope that's clear.

[/quote]

Yes, that is clear. Now I just have one more question, which may seem silly and nit-picky and I am normally not one to ask such things but........... When I was in high school a lot of people were doing a lot of things that were not chaste--everything aside from "going all the way." Do you think those people would count as "virgins?" I, personally, do not... But I wondered what others would think. And I know it's way off topic, but I have a very analytical and curious mind LOL


#15

Good questions. The answer is it depends.

For the consecration to a life of virginity, one needs not only to be a physical virgin (one who hasn't had voluntary intercourse) but also a good reputation and not have a sin against virginity public (like intercourse would be since it is not just her secret but that of the man or woman partner). So, theoretically, a technical virgin (maybe she didn't go all the way so to speak) might receive the consecration but not necssarily receive the rewards due to virginity in heaven because true virginity is just that. No willed action against chastity in the flesh. So if that french kiss or other actions happened with full consent, even if she didn't go "all the way", with the arousal actions willingly engaged in, she has forfeited the crown of virginity even if she is technically a virgin. So even if on technical grounds she could receive the consecration, she would not receive the crown of virginity in heaven. Again, this has a lot to do with full consent, etc.

For other actions like innocent kissing, flirting, etc. before consecration, yeah, there wouldn't be a problem.


#16

[quote="SerraSemper, post:15, topic:308166"]
Good questions. The answer is it depends.

For the consecration to a life of virginity, one needs not only to be a physical virgin (one who hasn't had voluntary intercourse) but also a good reputation and not have a sin against virginity public (like intercourse would be since it is not just her secret but that of the man or woman partner). So, theoretically, a technical virgin (maybe she didn't go all the way so to speak) might receive the consecration but not necssarily receive the rewards due to virginity in heaven because true virginity is just that. No willed action against chastity in the flesh. So if that french kiss or other actions happened with full consent, even if she didn't go "all the way", with the arousal actions willingly engaged in, she has forfeited the crown of virginity even if she is technically a virgin. So even if on technical grounds she could receive the consecration, she would not receive the crown of virginity in heaven. Again, this has a lot to do with full consent, etc.

For other actions like innocent kissing, flirting, etc. before consecration, yeah, there wouldn't be a problem.

[/quote]

Yeah... I was thinking more of people who do serious sin against chastity, like oral sex, etc. and think it is not sex because it is not intercourse. To me, that is not a virgin but was wondering what the Church would have to say about it.


#17

[quote="rissa87, post:16, topic:308166"]
Yeah... I was thinking more of people who do serious sin against chastity, like oral sex, etc. and think it is not sex because it is not intercourse. To me, that is not a virgin but was wondering what the Church would have to say about it.

[/quote]

Well, I can tell you this much. That specific example, the Church would say that the woman wasn't eligible for the consecration for 2 reasons:

1) serious sin against chastity in the flesh = no longer virgin (even if it's not intercourse)
2) done with another person = (reputation is gone with at least one person) = ineligibility for the consecration


#18

That makes sense & is what I thought. Just wanted to validate. Thanks!


#19

Your sense is spot on. There are other sins against chastity that do the same thing even if they are not with another person… again, it is a very delicate area, and there are several aspects that need to be evaluated for each situation. Is it only sin in thought or is there flesh component? Are there other people involved? Probably even more basic is the question of whether sin itself was involved. Remember, we call those virgin saints who were raped virgins… but their virginity is different than The Blessed Virgin’s. Etc.


#20

[quote="SerraSemper, post:15, topic:308166"]
Good questions. The answer is it depends.

For the consecration to a life of virginity, one needs not only to be a physical virgin (one who hasn't had voluntary intercourse) but also a good reputation and not have a sin against virginity public (like intercourse would be since it is not just her secret but that of the man or woman partner). So, theoretically, a technical virgin (maybe she didn't go all the way so to speak) might receive the consecration but not necssarily receive the rewards due to virginity in heaven because true virginity is just that. No willed action against chastity in the flesh. So if that french kiss or other actions happened with full consent, even if she didn't go "all the way", with the arousal actions willingly engaged in, she has forfeited the crown of virginity even if she is technically a virgin. So even if on technical grounds she could receive the consecration, she would not receive the crown of virginity in heaven. Again, this has a lot to do with full consent, etc.

For other actions like innocent kissing, flirting, etc. before consecration, yeah, there wouldn't be a problem.

[/quote]

You're making some pretty bold statements. Do you have any theological references backing it up?

I ask because I am currently discerning this vocation, thus doing a lot of research on it. On Catholic Encyclopedia it has this to say about virginity and the rewards in Heaven for virgins.

Virginity is irreparably lost by sexual pleasure, voluntarily and completely experienced. "I tell you without hesitation", writes St. Jerome in his twenty-second Epistle to St. Eustochium, n. 5 (P.L., XXII, 397) "that though God is almighty, He cannot restore a virginity that has been lost." ** A failure in the resolution, or even incomplete faults, leave room for efficacious repentance, which restores virtue and the right to the aureola.** Formerly virginity was required as a condition for entrance into some monasteries; at the present day, in most congregations, a pontifical dispensation is necessary for the reception of persons who have been married (the Order of the Visitation however is formally open to widows); but bodily integrity is no longer required. If the candidate's reputation is intact, the doors of monasteries are open to a generous repentance as to a generous innocence. (See NUNS; RELIGIOUS LIFE; VOWS; RELIGIOUS VEIL.)

From what I can interpret, those who haven't actually had sexual intercourse, and are repentant, they can be restored to the virtue of virginity and the right to the aureola (which is the rewards in Heaven for virgins).


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