Recently this question was on Facebook in regards our photo of Sr. Mary Joseph (above). Fr. Will Prospero, SJ sent her a great response:
Thank you for your question. God has one spouse, and that is the Church, or the Bride of Christ. Individual members of the Church are called to embody that spousal dimension in their relationship with Him.
It is spousal inasmuch as each Christian is called to give everything to Him in no matter what state of life he calls us (consecrated, married, or single). Religious or consecrated sisters, however, have a special way of witnessing to the spousal dimension of the Church’s relationship with God. They are called to conform themselves exclusively to Christ, the Divine Spouse, in consecrated celibacy for the kingdom. They live as Christ lived: poor, chaste and celibate, and obedient. In this way their call is a “higher” calling, because it is closer to what heaven will be (Jesus clearly states that we will not be given in marriage in the life to come when he answers the Pharisees about the seven men who died married to the same woman).
So the person is asking the wrong question about violating commandments. Jesus is not a polygamist. He has one spouse, the Church. And He calls the Church into intimate union with Himself, especially through the sacraments of the Church and living the moral life. Consecrated religious women, similar to Mary, witness to this spousal reality in a special way.