Spousal Love of Jesus Christ

Beneath the religious habit, the silent prayers raised in Adoration, in the midst of the daily rhythm of work and study, and the little sacrifices offered for souls, lies a foundational, yet often overlooked reality of religious life.  More than anything else a religious sister is a woman in love with Jesus.  A woman who enters religious life does not enter as a “Plan B,” because she didn’t find anyone in the world to marry.  A woman who is called enters for just the opposite reason: it is because she found the One she loves- Jesus Christ! 

Alessandro Franchi and Gaetano Marinelli, The Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine

Alessandro Franchi and Gaetano Marinelli, The Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine

 Falling in love is the most life-changing event.  Nothing is the same.  There is an indescribable and yet unmistakable fullness in one’s heart that brings joy, peace, life, meaning, and direction.  There is an immense desire to be with that person, listen to him, share with him, to bring him joy.  In short, to give one’s self unreservedly to him.  As this can be beautifully witnessed in sacramental marriages so too there is a parallel here with a sister’s relationship with Christ. In the mystery of His will He granted her a glimpse of His love, His infinite love, and swept her off her feet.  There arises in her heart the compelling need to be with Him, to give herself totally and unreservedly to Him.

This invitation to spousal love of Christ, is not merited or earned, it is not an “award” for the practice of virtue, it is an invitation.  Christ has utter respect for our free will.  Yet, most honestly, a woman who has fallen in love with Christ finds that she no longer has a heart to freely give to another in marriage, because it is already totally won by the beauty of Christ.  The vows she takes of poverty, chastity, and obedience are a means of drawing closer in her relationship with Christ, who Himself was poor, chaste, and obedient while on earth.  These vows unite one to Christ and to the Cross, the Cross and Christ are inseperable.    Her spouse is Christ crucified and the union of her will to His costs everything.  But here too is hidden the gift, for by being brought into Christ’s suffering she is also brought into His spiritual fecundity. She is fruitful in the measure that she cleaves to Christ unreservedly, laying down her will and joining it to His will.

 

Requirements for Entrance

  • Between 20-35 yrs of age with a college degree (exceptions considered individually)
  • Good mental, physical, and emotional health
  • Free of debt or having made arrangements for outstanding debt
  • Fidelity to the Holy Father and the Roman Catholic Church
  • Appropriate personal maturity
  • Faithful prayer life for at least two years 

 

Discernment

If you are a young woman discerning a call to religious life and desire to know more about the Missionaries of the Word please write us via the "Contact Us" page.  It would be beautiful to hear a little about yourself, your journey with the Lord, and what is drawing you to discern religious life as well as any questions you may have.  With regards to a visit, typically we would love to first welcome you, any time, on a young adult retreat with Catholic Youth Expeditions, our primary apostolate which would give you a glimpse into our charism in action. This, however, is not a requirement.  In our ministry of discipleship we walk with each person individually so we don not offer group come and sees.  May God bless you as you seek His will.  As Mother Teresa says, "The journey is the gift!"

 
 
What God commands, which may seem humanly impossible, he gives us the means to carry out. That is the secret to every vocation. Every vocation changes our plans, disclosing a new one, and it is astonishing to see how much inner help God gives us.
— St. John Paul II