Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Verbi Sponsa: Portrait of a Cloistered Dominican Nun (Part I – The Call of Love)

Bride of the Word Incarnate is she who received the loving gaze of Christ who “looking upon [her], loved [her], and said to [her]: If you would be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  [1]

This loving gaze and the call to an intimate relationship with her God awaken in the soul of the bride the love she received at baptism and the vows to be His for all eternity. He has set himself as a seal upon her heart and called her by name.  He came to reclaim what was his and with his Word pierced her heart and captured it completely.  Her whole being was set ablaze by the fire of His love and she felt a deep desire that no mortal could fill because her Creator has made her in his own image and… “[her] heart is restless until it rests in Him.”  [2]

Realizing her thirst for the Infinite, her dignity as being the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that she is “not her own,” [3] the bride of the Word courageously and joyfully responded to the challenge to walk on this path of perfection, of charity, of constant conversion and of reconciliation out of love for her God.  As she ponders more deeply on her life and her Christian vocation in light of the mystery of the Redemption, she fixes her life more firmly in that mystery and her Fiat to the call of this redemptive love touches upon the very roots of her humanity. [4]

Although this invitation to walk on the path of perfection concerns all the faithful, the spouse of Christ accepts His redeeming love and allows it to embrace her whole person, soul and body.  In receiving this love, the bride in turn gives herself completely to the work of redemption.  And by living the life of the evangelical counsels that her Redeemer has shown, she finds the answer to life’s most puzzling question: why be a human person, and how? [5]

Gradually, the bride of the Word learns that truly by losing her life for Christ’s sake and for the sake of the Gospel, she has found life…she has found true love.  By committing her whole existence to the Lover of her soul, she is eager to bring this redemptive love to her brothers and sisters and becomes “co-worker” in the mystery of Redemption.[6]   How could she do this since she lives in the cloister, hidden away with her spouse, Jesus Christ in God? Check back for more in our future blogging!

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[1] Mark 10:21.
[2] St. Augustine.
[3] 1 Cor. 6:19.
[4] Redemptionis Donum.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Verbi Sponsa.

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