The Son of God presents himself as the Bridegroom-Messiah (cf. Mt 9:15; 25:1), come to seal the marriage of God with humanity, (16) in a wondrous exchange of love, which begins in the Incarnation, comes to its summit of self-offering in the Passion and is for ever given as gift in the Eucharist.
The nuptial dimension belongs to the whole Church, but consecrated life is a vivid image of it, since it more clearly expresses the impulse towards the Bridegroom.
In a still more significant and radical way, the mystery of the exclusive union of the Church as Bride with the Lord is expressed in the vocation of cloistered nuns, precisely because their life is entirely dedicated to God, loved above all else, in a ceaseless straining towards the heavenly Jerusalem and in anticipation of the eschatological Church confirmed in the possession and contemplation of God. Their life is a reminder to all Christian people of the fundamental vocation of everyone to come to God; and it is a foreshadowing of the goal towards which the entire community of the Church journeys, in order to live forever as the Bride of the Lamb.
- cf Verbi Sponsa
By means of the cloister, nuns embody the exodus from the world in order to encounter God in the solitude of "cloistered desert", a desert which includes inner solitude, the trials of the spirit and the daily toil of life in community (cf. Eph 4:15-16), as the Bride's sharing in the solitude of Jesus in Gethsemane and in his redemptive suffering on the Cross (cf. Gal 6:14).
Nuns moreover, by their very nature as women, show forth more powerfully the mystery of the Church as "the Spotless Bride of the Spotless Lamb", rediscovering themselves individually in the spousal dimension of the wholly contemplative vocation.