Just the other day a large vase of incredibly beautiful roses arrived at the convent, to our great surprise and delight. The flowers were a gift from the Divine. Really. The card that came with them said so. It was signed, “Love, Jesus.”

RosesThe roses truly brighten our day. Every time we see them, we smile. Partly that’s because we love a good mystery. (OK, so I tried to convince the florist to tell me if Jesus had another name, like a name on a credit card, but nothing doing. I think the florist enjoyed the mystery too!).

The roses also make us smile because they remind us of conversations we’ve had with people about images of God and their meaning.  On a recent Ask Sister podcast, we were asked about God imagery in religious life. Sister Julie and I don’t espouse the “spouse of Christ” image in terms of our relationship with God. For us, other images better express our connectedness with God. Sometimes the spouse imagery can tend toward the literal. Sister Julie and I don’t really expect Jesus to bring home flowers at the end of the day. But when roses appear, it’s really wonderful!

There is no doubt in our mind that the appearance of the roses was an act of God. Sister Julie and I will continue to admire the beauty of the roses – God’s goodness expressed through creation and in human creativity, kindness, and sense of humor!

BTW, Sister Sandra Schneiders has written a lot about the topic of spousal imagery in religious life. She’ll be with us on a live podcast this Thursday. If you have a question for Sister Sandra, please write it in the comment box.

UPDATE: Listen to our podcast with Sister Sandra at IGF001.