In a world as wild as ours, you never know what you might discover about your neighbor.
Today people are free to marry the same sex, have “open” marriages where they sleep around, or not marry at all—but still live together and raise children.
But it might be the biggest surprise of all to learn whom these three women in Michigan married. And it’s a practice far older than you think.
From NY Times:
On a Sunday in late June, standing before the altar in a Catholic church and cloaked in wedding finery, three Michigan women pledged — in the words of Catholic canon law — to be “mystically betrothed to Christ.” Unlike nuns who take a vow of virginity before joining religious orders and then eschew the routines of normal life, Laurie Malashanko, Theresa Jordan and Karen Ervin, will continue working independently but will be dedicated to serving the Catholic Church as “brides of Christ.”
The practice of consecrating virgins dates to the earliest days of the Catholic Church but died out in the early 12th century when convents, then considered to be safer communities for religious women, rose in popularity. In 1963, the changes put in place during the Vatican II redefined the right of consecrated virginity and in 1970, the ritual was expanded to once again include women “living in the world…”
According to Stegman’s research, there are close to 250 consecrated virgins in the U.S. and more than 4,000 worldwide. “For centuries, we only had the other kind of religious life in the church (for women). People aren’t as familiar with it.” While the rite continues to remain somewhat obscure, for Jordan, it was a calling from the Holy Spirit.
Given the rampant immorality of our society, this kind of devotion is rare. It’s almost sweet and simple, compared to the lifestyles of most Americans.
Yet these three women are making a very significant commitment. Not one based on trends or passing fads. Not based on fleeting emotions or the whims of a man. But based on their sacred and deeply personal faith.
It’s a huge sacrifice, to be sure. They will never marry men, raise kids, or have a “normal” life. But they are doing this for a higher purpose, one that many have long abandoned.
The vast majority of Americans—even Catholics—won’t devote themselves to God in a such a way. Still, it is important that we respect and encourage those who do. Their devotion will make their communities and our world a better place.
And that’s something we all can stand to support.
Source: NY Times