There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. ~ St. Thomas Aquinas
Friendship is the basis of authentic deeper relationships, including the spousal relationship of a Sister with her Spouse. A woman called by God into spousal union with Him is first called to develop a sincere and affectionate friendship with Him. One does not simply wake up one morning and tell God that you are ready to be His bride - the espousals follows upon the maturation of affectionate, trusting friendship with the God Who Is Love.
Our Lord desires a life of friendship with each of us. He desires to give Himself and to receive us in return,
to be with us always and to have us with Him always, to share our interests and to have us share His. When this relationship has been well developed and fostered in prayer, for as St. Teresa tells us prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God, He invites some souls to deepen this friendship into a spousal love where this exchange is ratified by vow and expressed in a life of loving contemplation and service as consecrated brides of Christ.
I am all Thine - give me Thy Heart in return!
Most Holy Trinity, blessed and the source of all blessedness, bless your sons and daughters
whom you have called to praise the greatness of your love, your merciful goodness and your beauty...we pray to you for all consecrated persons. Fill their hearts with the deep certainty of having been chosen to love, to praise and to serve. Enable them to savor your friendship, fill them with your joy and consolation, help them to overcome moments of difficulty and to rise up again with trust after they have fallen; make them mirrors of the divine beauty. Give them the courage to face the challenges of our time and the grace to bring to all mankind the goodness and loving kindness of our Savior Jesus Christ." ~ Vita Consecrata, 111