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Well, BarbaraTherese, language can be complicated! That's why I said my pursuing Aquinas on analogy is not simple.

 

Language is complicated because it is used to expressed many kinds of things that exist--God, the world He created, His Church. And there are nuances in the use of language to express these things.

 

You are correct that God ultimately causes any consecration! But he does so by means of His Church. He doesn't cause everything He causes by means of His Church. He chooses to do so when it is fitting.

 

To get back to Aquinas, there are 4 types of causes that exist simultaneously when something is caused! That's part of the depth of thinking philosophically and theologically and then figuring out how to best use language to express the truth.

 

There is no contradiction between both God and His Church both being the "cause" of a consecration. It's not "less" that something is caused via God's Church versus only Him directly.

 

There are all kinds of callings individuals receive from God that are not effected through his Church. (The call to be baptized and receive the other sacraments ARE calls that are received ONLY via God through his Church.) If I feel "called" to volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity, or take a private vow of poverty, or move to Kenya to do mission work, my discerning of that God and faithfully responding to it do require my active life in the Church such that I am grace-filled and able to hear & answer God's call. But none of those things require the direct action/mediation of the Church for me to accept God's will and do as He is asking. Hope that makes sense.

 

Maybe you think these types of distinctions are overwhelming, and I can understand that. But they aren't useless or vain. These types of distinctions are how the Church explains who she is and why she is different from any other institution on earth.

 

We can't just dismiss language and metaphysics. It's how the Church expresses to the world who she is, how she dissects her own teaching and defends it against heretics, how she defends the dignity of the human person in the present culture of death, etc.

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More helpful citations. I've included Canon 604 again because there is no way to understand the CV vocation without considering each word it contains.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church on Consecrated Virgins

 

923   â€œVirgins who, committed to the holy plan of following Christ more closely, are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are betrothed mystically to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church.”464 By this solemn rite (Consecratio Virginum), the virgin is “constituted... a sacred person, a transcendent sign of the Church’s love for Christ, and an eschatological image of this heavenly Bride of Christ and of the life to come.”465 (1537, 1672)

 

Code of Canon Law on Consecrated Virgins

Can. 604 §1 The order of virgins is also to be added to these forms of consecrated life. Through their pledge to follow Christ more closely, virgins are consecrated to God, mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the Church, when the diocesan Bishop consecrates them according to the approved liturgical rite.

 

§2 Virgins can be associated together to fulfil their pledge more faithfully, and to assist each other to serve the Church in a way that befits their state.

 

VERSUS

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church – Religious Life

 

Religious life

925   Religious life was born in the East during the first centuries of Christianity. Lived within institutes canonically erected by the Church, it is distinguished from other forms of consecrated life by its liturgical character, public profession of the evangelical counsels, fraternal life led in common, and witness given to the union of Christ with the Church.468 (1672)

 

926   Religious life derives from the mystery of the Church. It is a gift she has received from her Lord, a gift she offers as a stable way of life to the faithful called by God to profess the counsels. Thus, the Church can both show forth Christ and acknowledge herself to be the Savior’s bride. Religious life in its various forms is called to signify the very charity of God in the language of our time. (796)

 

927   All religious, whether exempt or not, take their place among the collaborators of the diocesan bishop in his pastoral duty.469 From the outset of the work of evangelization, the missionary “planting” and expansion of the Church require the presence of the religious life in all its forms.470 “History witnesses to the outstanding service rendered by religious families in the propagation of the faith and in the formation of new Churches: from the ancient monastic institutions to the medieval orders, all the way to the more recent congregations.”471 (854)

 

I didn't include the canons from the Code of Canon Law on religious life and the other (non-CV) forms of consecrated life because there are so many of them.

 

As near as I recall, the ONLY canon that explicitly defines a vocation by saying it constitutes marriage to Christ is the CV vocation.

 

As we've said again, and again, and again on this thread, all the other vocations participate in the spousality of the Church to varying degrees.

 

But the Magisterium has only defined one vocation as being, in its very nature and essence, marriage to Christ.

 

This doesn't devalue the other kinds of religious life. Reading the Catechism and the Code on the other forms of consecrated life gives a beautiful description of the ways each of them embody following Christ and the life of the Church. Each vocation has its own dimension of the beauty of Christ's priesthood and His love for His Church. No single vocation encompasses all aspects of the beauty, and truth, and goodness that it is to be Catholic.

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What I have been saying is that unlike religious, CVs have an actual nuptial bond that is created between them and Christ just like human spouses have an actual nuptial bond that is created between themselves.  This is why they ARE brides and don't merely share in the imagery more fully than religious.  Because this is an actual marriage bond, the Church doesn't merely create a fictitious state in life for people who are "officially committed" to serving God just so people can point to the state and say the Church does this arbitrarily.  No, the Church recognizes that an ontological change happened to Our Lady, and mediated a similar ontological change on many virgins and separated them from the laity on account of their actually having a spousal bond with Christ, embodying the Church's identity to Christ.

 

 

But no, CV's don't have a marriage bond with Jesus like human spouses have with each other. There are 7 sacraments and consecrated virginity is not one of them.

 

I mentioned this in the other thread but I wasn't able to track down your thoughts here (but there is so much to wade through I may have missed it).

 

Religious life, consecrated virginity and other forms of consecration are higher states in life than matrimony. But of that grouping, only matrimony is a sacrament.

 

Similarly, ordination is quite different from consecrated virginity. It's a sacrament and CV is just not.

 

Consecrated virginity is so distinct from any other vocation in the Church that it often seems we just don't have the vocabulary to describe it, other than to compare it to things it is not (ordination, marriage etc). This is why I wish the authorities would really buckle down and start defining this vocation! instead of leaving it to the CVs themselves who, as humans will, inevitably come up with contradictory and inadequate explanations. I hesitate to say that the council fathers didn't really think this one through before calling for the revival of the consecration.

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Once again, here is the Code of Canon Law & the Catechism of the Catholic Church on this vocation:

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church on Consecrated Virgins

 

923   â€œVirgins who, committed to the holy plan of following Christ more closely, are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are betrothed mystically to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church.”464 By this solemn rite (Consecratio Virginum), the virgin is “constituted... a sacred person, a transcendent sign of the Church’s love for Christ, and an eschatological image of this heavenly Bride of Christ and of the life to come.”465 (1537, 1672)

 

Code of Canon Law on Consecrated Virgins

Can. 604 §1 The order of virgins is also to be added to these forms of consecrated life. Through their pledge to follow Christ more closely, virgins are consecrated to God, mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the Church, when the diocesan Bishop consecrates them according to the approved liturgical rite.

 

 

God’s Beloved, Ima Lurker, ABrideofChrist, some of the others, and I have each made a real contribution in recent posts to quoting and interpreting Church documents and the works/thought of theologians and philosophers.

 

We are trying to keep this thread more “academic,” if you will, in the good and proper sense of that term. We are taking time to find sources, read them carefully, and interpret them using the Church’s theology and philosophy.

 

It’s most helpful if posters here try to contribute in a similar vein.

 

For example, instead of just posting a personal opinion that CV’s aren’t really married to Christ since the CV consecration isn’t a sacrament, it would be more helpful to the dialogue at hand to read canon 604 from the Code of Canon law on how a consecrated virgin is mystically espoused to Christ, plus the Catechism section about her espousal to Christ, and then give reasons (while backing them up) for why that language can’t be interpreted to mean the CV really is espoused to Christ.

 

We are trying to stick to what the Church actually teaches about this vocation, in her authoritative documents, and then from there turn to other reputable sources (USACV documents, Catholic Encylopedia articles, other works of theologians and philosophers) to explicate it.

 

This thread isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but those of us who appreciate it are trying very hard to keep a deep and nuanced dialogue going.

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Well, BarbaraTherese, language can be complicated! That's why I said my pursuing Aquinas on analogy is not simple.

Very true that language can be complicated.  One needs, I think, to understand what a word means in practical terms in this instance.

 

Language is complicated because it is used to expressed many kinds of things that exist--God, the world He created, His Church. And there are nuances in the use of language to express these things.

 

You are correct that God ultimately causes any consecration! But he does so by means of His Church. He doesn't cause everything He causes by means of His Church. He chooses to do so when it is fitting.

Absolutely.  But The Holy Spirit is not confined to action of The Church as you have said in different wording.

 

To get back to Aquinas, there are 4 types of causes that exist simultaneously when something is caused! That's part of the depth of thinking philosophically and theologically and then figuring out how to best use language to express the truth.

 

There is no contradiction between both God and His Church both being the "cause" of a consecration. It's not "less" that something is caused via God's Church versus only Him directly.

Agree

 

There are all kinds of callings individuals receive from God that are not effected through his Church. (The call to be baptized and receive the other sacraments ARE calls that are received ONLY via God through his Church.) If I feel "called" to volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity, or take a private vow of poverty, or move to Kenya to do mission work, my discerning of that God and faithfully responding to it do require my active life in the Church such that I am grace-filled and able to hear & answer God's call. But none of those things require the direct action/mediation of the Church for me to accept God's will and do as He is asking. Hope that makes sense.

Agree.  However, when The Church acts as in consecration of a virgin, we can be absolutely confident that it is The Holy Spirit acting.  This does not mean, as already covered, that The Holy Spirit is confined to actions of The Church.

 

Maybe you think these types of distinctions are overwhelming, and I can understand that. But they aren't useless or vain. These types of distinctions are how the Church explains who she is and why she is different from any other institution on earth.

They are difficult only in that I find personally that I need to watch the words I used and simply HOPE that theologically they are also stating what I mean.

 

We can't just dismiss language and metaphysics. It's how the Church expresses to the world who she is, how she dissects her own teaching and defends it against heretics, how she defends the dignity of the human person in the present culture of death, etc.

I agree with this too wholeheartedly and absolutely and have stated such in other posts.  It is vitally important in the Life of The Church also that untrained minds in the various branches of theology and other sciences can understand what is being stated.  Vitally important in this particular Forum on Phatmass as well.

I very much agree in relation to CV's in particular with the spousal type language and with the term 'nuptial'.  It is helpful if one spells out what these terms mean to one in the living out of them on earth for those who may find the terms confusing and it seems to me that quite a few that are discerning are quite young minds still (possibly only) in the journey of learning as we all are ideally.

 

 

Fraternally always..............Barb :)

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Once again, here is the Code of Canon Law & the Catechism of the Catholic Church on this vocation:

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church on Consecrated Virgins

 

923   â€œVirgins who, committed to the holy plan of following Christ more closely, are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are betrothed mystically to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church.”464 By this solemn rite (Consecratio Virginum), the virgin is “constituted... a sacred person, a transcendent sign of the Church’s love for Christ, and an eschatological image of this heavenly Bride of Christ and of the life to come.”465 (1537, 1672)

 

Code of Canon Law on Consecrated Virgins

Can. 604 §1 The order of virgins is also to be added to these forms of consecrated life. Through their pledge to follow Christ more closely, virgins are consecrated to God, mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the Church, when the diocesan Bishop consecrates them according to the approved liturgical rite.

 

 

God’s Beloved, Ima Lurker, ABrideofChrist, some of the others, and I have each made a real contribution in recent posts to quoting and interpreting Church documents and the works/thought of theologians and philosophers.

 

We are trying to keep this thread more “academic,” if you will, in the good and proper sense of that term. We are taking time to find sources, read them carefully, and interpret them using the Church’s theology and philosophy.

 

It’s most helpful if posters here try to contribute in a similar vein.

 

For example, instead of just posting a personal opinion that CV’s aren’t really married to Christ since the CV consecration isn’t a sacrament, it would be more helpful to the dialogue at hand to read canon 604 from the Code of Canon law on how a consecrated virgin is mystically espoused to Christ, plus the Catechism section about her espousal to Christ, and then give reasons (while backing them up) for why that language can’t be interpreted to mean the CV really is espoused to Christ.

 

We are trying to stick to what the Church actually teaches about this vocation, in her authoritative documents, and then from there turn to other reputable sources (USACV documents, Catholic Encylopedia articles, other works of theologians and philosophers) to explicate it.

 

This thread isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but those of us who appreciate it are trying very hard to keep a deep and nuanced dialogue going.

 

I am sorry my contributions aren't up to par :( But as you know this is a web forum and not a private space. Could you explain why you believe being "mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the Church" is identical to the espousal of a human married couple? Can you define what you believe the Church means when she says mystical espousal? Definitely she doesn't mean "not real" but by using this adjective, isn't she defining the form of espousal CVs experience in a unique way?

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I am sorry my contributions aren't up to par :( But as you know this is a web forum and not a private space. Could you explain why you believe being "mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the Church" is identical to the espousal of a human married couple? Can you define what you believe the Church means when she says mystical espousal? Definitely she doesn't mean "not real" but by using this adjective, isn't she defining the form of espousal CVs experience in a unique way?

 

 

I very much agree with Maggie, as above.

Explaining technical terms in everyday language - what a term means in the ordinary every day living out of it  is important.  It is important not only for those of us untrained in any branch of theology or science, philosophy etc. but for those who might be simply reading trying to understand the vocation of Consecrated Virgin and what it means.  Understanding each vocation informs us on the Life of The Church and Jesus in His image and likeness insofar as Grace and our own efforts might allow - and in the terms of the duties of our own particular vocation and state in life.

 

We are living in an age of evangelism, when The Church is stressing to us the vital importance of being evangelisers.  The very first thing it seems to me this asks is to live out our understanding.  That it is not some abstraction with no relationship to quite ordinary everyday life.  Jesus was very much an extraordinary yet ordinary everyday man of the people.  Also, there are parents either contributing to forums or simply reading threads that need to understand in order to explain to their children.  Their does seem to be a fairly large amount of quite young (to me) membership of Phatmass in the various Phorums including Vocation Phorum.

 

Fraternally and always...........Barb :)

PS  It does seem to me that those who are just trying to understand are more open minded.  I certainly have become better informed reading these threads.  Some in these threads seem to have an agenda and will simply ignore and not comment on posts or statements that seem reasonable, to me anyway, rather than have their own point of view challenged in some way.

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I am sorry my contributions aren't up to par :( But as you know this is a web forum and not a private space. Could you explain why you believe being "mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the Church" is identical to the espousal of a human married couple? Can you define what you believe the Church means when she says mystical espousal? Definitely she doesn't mean "not real" but by using this adjective, isn't she defining the form of espousal CVs experience in a unique way?

 

I'm not Laurie, but we can use the Church's own words to explain what is meant by mystical espousal.  These passages are taken from the Homily in the Consecration of Virgins:

 

 

The following is the suggested homily in the rite of consecration of virgins living in the world from  the Roman Pontifical [ latest version I think yr 2011-12  with some minor but very significant changes compared to the translation around yr 1970 . Emphasis in bold and red is mine , also comments in italics are mine ]

 

 

 

HOMILY OR ADDRESS

 

16 The Bishop then gives a short Homily to the candidates and the people on the gift of virginity and its role in the sanctification of those called to virginity and the welfare of the whole Church. He does so in these or similar words:

 

Dear brothers and sisters, today the Church consecrates these candidates to a life of virginity. They come from God’s holy people, from your own families. They are your daughters, your sisters, your relatives, joined by the ties of family or friendship.

 

God has called them to be more closely united to himself and to be dedicated to the service of the Church and of mankind. Their consecration is a call to greater fervor in spreading the kingdom of God and in giving to the world the spirit of Christ. Think of the good they will accomplish by their prayers and good works, and the abundant blessings they will obtain from God for holy Church, for human society, and for your families.

 

He then addresses the candidates:

 

And now we speak to you, dear daughters. Our words are not words of command but encouragement from the heart. The life you seek to follow has its home in heaven. God himself is its source. It is he, infinitely pure and holy, who gives the grace of virginity. Those to whom he gives it are seen by the Fathers of the Church as images of the eternal and all-holy God.

 

When the fullness of time had come, the almighty Father showed, in the mystery of the Incarnation, his love for this great virtue. In the chaste womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word was made flesh, in a marriage covenant uniting two natures, human and divine.

 

Our Lord himself taught us the high calling of such a life, consecrated to God and chosen for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven . By his whole life, and especially by his labors, his preaching, and, above all, by his Paschal Mystery, he brought his Church into being. He desired it to be a virgin, a bride, and a mother: a virgin, to keep the faith whole and entire; a bride, to be one with him forever; and a mother, to raise up the family of the Church.

 

The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, through Baptism has already made you temples of God’s glory and children of the Father. Today through our ministry he anoints you with a new grace and consecrates you to God by a new title. He gives each one of you the dignity of being a bride of Christ and binds you to the Son of God in a covenant to last forever.

 

 

The Church is the Bride of Christ. This title of the Church was given by the fathers and doctors of the Church to those like you who speak to us of the world to come, where there is no marrying or giving in marriage. You are a sign of the great mystery of salvation, proclaimed at the beginning of human history and fulfilled in the marriage covenant between Christ and his Church.

 

Make your whole life reflect your vocation and your dignity. Our holy mother the Church sees in you a chosen company within the flock of Christ. Through you the Church’s motherhood of grace bears its abundant fruit. Imitate the Mother of God; desire to be called and to be handmaids of the Lord. Preserve the fullness of your faith, the steadfastness of your hope, the single-heartedness of your love. Be prudent and watch: keep the glory of your virginity uncorrupted by pride. Nourish your love of God by feeding on the body of Christ; strengthen it by self-denial; build it up by study of the Scriptures, by untiring prayer, by works of mercy. Let your thoughts be on the things of God. Let your life be hidden with Christ in God. Make it your concern to pray fervently for the spread of the Christian faith and for the unity of all Christians. Pray earnestly to God for the welfare of the married. Remember also those who have forgotten their Father’s goodness and have abandoned his love, so that God’s mercy may forgive where his justice must condemn.

 

Never forget that you are given over entirely to the service of the Church and of all your brothers and sisters. You are apostles in the Church and in the world, in the things of the Spirit and in the things of the world. Let your light then shine before men and women, that your Father in heaven may be glorified, and his plan of making all things one in Christ come to perfection. Love everyone, especially those in need. Help the poor, care for the weak, teach the ignorant, protect the young, minister to the old, bring strength and comfort to widows and all in adversity.

 

You have renounced marriage for the sake of Christ. Your motherhood will be motherhood of the spirit, as you do the will of your Father and work with others in a spirit of charity, so that a great family of children may be born, or reborn, to the life of grace.

 

Your joy and your crown, even here on earth, will be Christ, the Son of the Virgin and the Bridegroom of virgins. He will call you to his presence and into his Kingdom, where you will sing a new song as you follow the Lamb of God wherever he leads you.

 

In contrast, let's look at the Church's own explanation for religious profession:

 

Dear Klarisse,

 

The following is from the Introduction to the Rite of Religious Profession

 

I. Nature and import of Religious Profession

1. In response to God's call many Christians dedicate themselves to his
service and to the welfare of humanity through the sacred bonds of religious
life and seek to follow Christ more closely through the evangelical counsels.
This leads to the grace of baptism achieving richer results in them
.

2. The Church has always esteemed the religious life, which, under the
guidance of the Holy Spirit, has taken various forms in the course of history

 

3.It has raised religious life to the rank of a canonical state and approved a great
number of religious institutes and protected them by wise legislation

For it is the Church that receives the vows of those who make
religious profession, begs God's grace for them by its public prayer, puts them
in God's hands, blesses them, and unites their offering with the Eucharistic
sacrifice.

 

 

Also according to the Ritual in general for women and men :

6. After the period prescribed by law, final profession is made, by which
religious bind themselves permanently to the service of God and the Church.
Perpetual profession reflects the unbreakable union between Christ and his
Bride, the Church

 

Canon  law 654  : By religious profession members make a public vow to observe the three evangelical counsels. Through the ministry of the Church they are consecrated to God , and are incorporated into the institute with the rights and duties defined by law.

 

Nowhere in Canon law, CCC or the Rite of Religious Profession is it stated that an 'individual' religious woman is in Essence a bride of Christ . When spousal imagery is mentioned , it is about Religious life  as a vocation in the church  reflecting the Church who is the Bride of Christ.

 

To be continued

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Cont'd

I am sorry my contributions aren't up to par :( But as you know this is a web forum and not a private space. Could you explain why you believe being "mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the Church" is identical to the espousal of a human married couple? Can you define what you believe the Church means when she says mystical espousal? Definitely she doesn't mean "not real" but by using this adjective, isn't she defining the form of espousal CVs experience in a unique way?

 

This is significant.  Here is an interpretation of the Homily From the 400 page PDF provided by the United States Association of Consecrated Virgins (bolding mine):

 

 

For those of you, like me, who have tried to keep an open mind, I copy and paste from the usacv (thanks again barbara therese for providing so many links)

 

1.4 THE CONSECRATED VIRGIN
, “SPOUSE OF CHRIST”
Until now our discourse about the “Church Spouse of Christ” has only dealt with her complex
reality as the mystical body of Christ. But now is the time to speak about the “consecrated virgin
as spouse of Christ.” But our treatment of this subject will be short because, as the Fathers of the
Church remark, what is said of the “Church Spouse” must be also said of each consecrated
virgin. She is “Spouse of Christ” not on the basis of a subjective choice, but because through her
personal choice and the intervention of the Spirit by means of the official consecration, she participates more intimately in the wedded life of
the Church. Through her baptism the virgin is already part of the mystery of the “Church Spouse of Christ,” but now, with her consecration — which implies totality, perpetuity, and action of the spirit — she becomes even more profoundly
a part of that great mystery, a partaker, and at the same time, an eminently visible sign of it

 

Continuing Church tradition, the Roman Ritual of 1970 “in a prominent way, without hesitation
or concessions to emotionalism; reaffirms the unanimous doctrine of the Popes and the
continuous interpretation of the liturgy by stating that the specific element of the
consecration ofa virgin is the particular nuptial relationship that is established be
tween Christ and the Virgin.”9
Texts are explicit. In the ritual homily in aparagraph inspired by the doctrine of the Holy
Trinity, the bishop tells the virgins: The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, through baptism has already made you temples of God’s
glory and children of the Father. Today through our ministry he anoints you with a new
grace and consecrates you to God by a new title. He gives each one of you the dignity of
being a bride of Christ and binds you to the Son of God in a covenant to last forever.10

 

The consecrated virgin is the “spouse of Christ” not in opposition to the other members of the
Church, but in a deeper sense. She is already the “spouse of Christ” by baptism, but now she
goes a step further as she voluntarily renounces earthly nuptials.
Thus the gift of the Spiritenables her to deepen her resolution to live a life
exclusively dedicated tothe love of Christ and to the service of the Kingdom. In this way
she becomes the “visible sign” of the wedded condition of the Church.
 
Taken from pp 331- 332 of the information packet provided by the usacv. Sorry for not knowing how to link to it. But those that are reading should find it easily enough. :)

 

 

Other parts of the Consecration of Virgins:

 

Bishop: (to virgin)  Are you resolved to accept solemn consecration as a bride of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God? 

 

My note- he is not saying do you accept solemn consecration as a sacred person or do you accept solemn consecration to a life of virginity; he is saying do you accept solemn consecration as a bride.

 

Bishop (to God in the prayer of consecration itself):  Among your many gifts you give to some the grace of virginity.  Yet the honor of marriage is in now way lessened.  As it was in the beginning your first blessing still remains upon this holy union.  Yet your loving wisdom cthose who make the sacrifice of marriage for the sake of the love of which it is the sign.  They renounce the joys of human marriage but cherish all that it foreshadows.

Bishop (blessing virgins):  May the almighty Father, by his protection keep intact the resolve he has poured into your hearts to live in blessed virginity.  Amen.  May the Lord Jesus, who unites to himself the hearts of sacred virgins in a nuptial covenant, make your hearts fruitful by the word that is God's seed.  Amen.  May the Holy Spirit who came down upon the Blessed Virgin and descending today has consecrated your hearts, fire you with zeal for the service of God and the Church. amen.
 

 

My note- please see that the Church is VERY explicit about this nuptial union for consecrated virgins.  Note that this is a new grace, a new anointing of the Holy Spirit that is mediated through the ministry of the Bishop.  It doesn't already pre-exist and the Church just comes around and "confirms" it.  Look at the actual words.  Ponder the actual words of the Rite. 

 

Ima Lurker posted some valuable quotes from the USACV materials.  Among them was Cardinal Burke's commentary on the Rite.  He wrote this commentary on the Rite of Consecration to Virginity on pages 41--65 of the PDF the USACV puts out.  I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in the vocation read this commentary and take it to heart.  http://consecratedvirgins.org/infopkt

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I do believe that the candidate and the actual CV consecration is a Work of The Holy Spirit effected through The Church in a quite public and canonical manner; however, free will remains with the consecrated virgin and what I have read does present a road to great sanctity and it will be the journey of a faulted and weak, fallible creature or candidate - however, she will have the guarantee of The Holy Spirit that sufficient Grace to great holiness will not be lacking.  The CV vocation, therefore, is a great honour, responsibility and accountability before The Church, the world, and primarily before The Lord.

I arrived at these conclusions (and other conclusions) after reading the USACV website quite some time ago - perhaps not all of the site, but sufficient to inform me to that degree which I deemed necessary for my own purposes.

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I am reading through the usacv welcome packet which is not impossible for someone without any actual scholar training (in my opinion.) Seems pretty straightforward actually! :)

 

The more I read, the more I see that ABC isn't saying anything drastically new. There are some new opinions on the VS voiced by others. Like the materials on the usacv website,  ABC's position is in line with the current usacv's parameters of what a CV is. I'm troubled by the fact that there are Catholics here who are swayed by emotion instead of following church writers. We're not protestants, each interpreting privately what has been written by the Church!!!!!!!!

 

This 400 page document has not showed me anything that is contrary to what ABC is saying so far. It's so odd that there are so many writers who can agree that this is a spousal vocation. So why are there Catholics here who go against it saying that anyone who reads this or agrees with it is somehow uncharitable and therefore wrong? All these authors at this approved website talk about the differences between the spousal vocation and what it means to be consecrated and what the vocation entails regarding duties concerned. Where is ABC going astray? In her tone? What does that matter? Not all of us are silver tongued! Don't shoot the messenger because of the message! 

 

Our Lord said Himself that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Again, we're not all the blessed Virgin. But we all LOVE the Bl. Virgin! I'm firmly convinced that there are janitors holier than some Nuns and vice versa, that holiness is an individual thing. But if it's true that this is what it means to be a bride of Christ, then let's be open to it and not feel inferior but feel blessed that Christ has given us this vocation for some to follow, a beacon of light in the darkness, so to speak. A ray of hope in our godless society. An outward sign. :)

 

Please, before criticising ABC or Laurie or the many others here, read this welcome packet. It's not too hard. Honestly, even I could get through it and that's saying a lot. From taking the time to read this, I can see what it is that ABC and the others have posted, why they've said this even though it makes them so unpopular, and why they took the criticism instead of shutting up. They are merely saying what others have already written. 

 

I know we as Catholics need to be united, but let's unite with the truth. All the truth. Embrace our faith. 

 

Peace and prayers,

I.L.

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Honestly I get the impression that people are putting a lot more stock on feelings rather than the ccc, the code of canon law and rite of consecration. 

 

I love this vocation, I long for it. I missed my opportunity before I ever knew it existed. But I love being a mom and am happy knowing that I serve Him Who gave me children to look after.  :heart:  :heart: He has loved me with an everlasting Love. This does not stop me from trying to learn more about it. 

 

ABC is not attacking people. Earlier in this thread, she states and cites that http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/topic/122838-bride-of-christ/?p=2615229 in regards to equality. I went through every single post in this thread looking for some truly cruel things that she said and I honestly couldn't find anything. I get that this is sensitive but isn't it Christian to hear her out? To read the Church's documents? Let's be fair, do the research before making a judgment. 

 

Are we to rely on emotions? Srsly? 

 

What worries me is that if the other thread's alternative idea is correct, then even religious Sisters have wasted their time with outward signs since only inward counts. Someone could take that argument and say that we only need the strong desire in our hearts to receive Jesus and that is enough to make it the Sacrament of Communion. Protestants already did this with Confession! "If you say it in your heart, then it is good enough for the Lord." 

 

It's very striking that the usacv provides a lot of material that the Churchs' tradition about consecrated virginity is laid out in. And yet there are SO many pm'ers here who claim that not enough is written! It is deeply troubling to me that the accusation is that the Church needs to clarify this vocation, yet according to these documents, she already has! I am left with the impression that those who would say the Church needs to write on this, have not bothered to read what is already written. Perhaps this is harsh but I am no scholar and still able to understand these documents! 

 

Forgive me if anyone is offended, I truly speak from my heart which is full of a strong desire to find my Lord. I'm content to be the laborer in the vineyard who came first, labored all day, and was paid the same as those who worked less. I am content to know that He will fill my cup, however big or small, with joy. He has said not to be envious of others regardless of who they are, how He rewards them, how long they worked, etc... :) but rather rejoice in our family. Because in Him, we are a family.  :dance:

 

Sorry again if I've offended. We are a family, and I love you all! 

 

peace and prayers! 

 

 

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, I truly speak from my heart which is full of a strong desire to find my Lord. I'm content to be the laborer in the vineyard who came first, labored all day, and was paid the same as those who worked less. I am content to know that He will fill my cup, however big or small, with joy. He has said not to be envious of others regardless of who they are, how He rewards them, how long they worked, etc... :) but rather rejoice in our family. Because in Him, we are a family.  :dance:

 

:dance: :dance: :dance:

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Fraternally always..............Barb :)

 

Thank you, BarbaraTherese, for your whole post!

 

Let me just add that I didn't say, and I didn't intend to say, that the Holy Spirit only works through the
Church. I said in many instances, the Trinity chooses to have Themselves work through the Church (sacraments & sacramentals being too key instances). Like someone pointed out earlier, a spiritual communion isn't the same thing as receiving Christ in the Eucharist. A spiritual communion is lovely & fitting when one can't receive Holy Communion, and the Holy Spirit does grace the soul who can't receive and makes a devout spiritual communion. But that doesn't mean we can scrap Holy Communion! (I know you agree with this, just making my point for everyone here.)

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