Are nuns the “spouses of Christ”? When roses arrive at the convent, the sisters reconsider

Blog Published: September 1, 2010
By Sister Maxine

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.

Archived Comments

Amparo September 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

Oh, I’d so much to love to be here to hear her… But I arrive home after nine thirty pm, wich is like one hour and a half after podcast time … I’ll listen to it later anyway… Lovely post Sister Max!!

Sister Julie September 1, 2010 at 9:33 am

Oh sorry to hear that, Amparo! We’ll have the recording available for you to listen to after the live event. Bendiciones!

Jen September 1, 2010 at 9:42 am

Aww! What a nice thing to come home to!

marla September 1, 2010 at 11:59 am

lovely roses. jesus has good taste.

Sister Maxine September 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Yes, Marla, I was very impressed with Jesus’ choice of flowers! How did Jesus know that roses are our favorites?!

Cameron September 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Jesus is my lover, life, and truth. I love him so much and can’t imagine my life without him. What a blessing NL is to us all and a blessing Sister Julie and Sister Maxine will be. I will be here tomorrow night for the special podcast. God bless! Love you all so much

JoyceElaine September 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Jesus is just that awesome, SMX

Kathleen September 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Hmmm … wonder if St. Therese asked Jesus to shower you with roses? Thanks for sharing with us. They are just beautiful and they have a lovely scent.

Sister Gayle OSF September 20, 2010 at 9:10 am

I was at my motherhouse this past weekend, and I saw a bouquet of roses on a table. A note said they were delivered without a note. Maybe Jesus? Had to share! 

Sister Julie September 20, 2010 at 10:59 am

Maybe so, Sister Gayle!!

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