Men and women religious strive for oneness with Christ. Jesus’ prayer: “Lord, may they be one as you and I are one,” is a passion for all religious. Growing aware of and fostering that union is essential in living out one’s vocation as a “Spouse of Christ.” Every Christian is called to realize his/her oneness with the Lord. As a Bride of Christ, men and women religious devote their lives to becoming acutely aware of the union that exists between him/herself and God. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Union between Bride and Bridegroom is what any marriage is all about. This is not less true for the Church and, certainly, no less true of those who dedicate themselves to the Lord by a special consecration, who give themselves totally to the Lord as women/men religious. Consecrated life, therefore, is a “reality which affects the whole church,….In effect,…is at the heart of the church as a decisive element for her mission, since it ‘manifests the inner nature of the Christian calling’ and the striving of the whole church as bride toward union with her one Spouse” (Vita Consecrata, #3).