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‘Espoused To Jesus’- A Lifelong Virgin Shares What This Catholic Ritual Means

I think of Christ as my spouse, but that’s theological language. I wouldn’t say Christ is my husband. That mimics human terms too much. When I do my taxes I’m still single. I don’t make dinner for Christ. But remember, in the Catholic Church every priest is espoused to the church. In our theology, spouse is a much richer term. To be mystically espoused to Christ is to be a sign of the world to come where we’ll all be united to God.

We’re like living icons.

 

Also unlike nuns, who may take the vow of celibacy after previously experiencing sexual relations, members of Malashanko’s vocation have to be lifelong virgins.

Malashanko prostrates during her consecration as a lifelong virgin in service to the church.

I was raised Catholic, and as a child I always prayed for everyone. I used to pray for all the characters of “Mr. Rogers” and “Sesame Street.” I started going to daily Mass when I was in college. A lot of girls like me might have chosen to become a nun. I was open to being a nun or open to marriage, I just thought I’d go where God took me.

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Whatever guy I was with felt like an intrusion, a third wheel.”

I dated throughout my teens and in college. Eventually I began noticing and feeling confused about the fact that I’d started to feel really agitated. Whatever guy I was with felt like an intrusion, a third wheel. I didn’t know why I was having that sense. I just knew I didn’t want to grow close to a guy. I had that feeling for about a year, and that’s when I found out about this vocation. I thought, “Oh, that made sense.”

Being a consecrated virgin is about being fully in the world, which means I follow the Lord where he’s leading me. For a religious sister, where he leads her is structure and community. There’s this kind of separation from the world because she lives in a community. Her day is protected and structured. There’s time for prayer, time for study. She also gives up certain freedoms. With my vocation, my freedom is wide open. As long as I’m structuring my time in a way that makes sense, my spiritual director is fine with that. I really thrive on that flexibility.

See Video to see how the ceremony is..

Looking ahead in my life I could see I was walking into this great next phase. Other than my funeral this is the biggest event of my life, my mystical marriage to Christ.

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