"My Beloved is a garden enclosed and a fountain sealed." These words from the Song of Songs caption what is perhaps my favorite holy card. Like the words upon which it is based, it is a metaphor to help us understand the nature of God's love.
When the Church, the body of Christ, is referred to as the bride of Christ it is because of her purpose; we are created by God to be His beloved, his faithful ones. The enclosed garden is a symbol of the heart of one and all who love the Triune God with fidelity.
The heart-shaped enclosure is more like a wedding band than a wall; it excludes only that which would endanger or defile the infusion of Living Water that springs eternally from the sealed Fountain which is the center of the garden of the heart and the center of all hearts united as one.
The word husband means spouse, and this is the sense in which the Scripture applies that term to Jesus as the Bridegroom and in which the Church applies the term bride of Christ to herself and to all believers. The word, husbandry also means to manage and to cultivate a garden or animals. Metaphorically, each heart is the garden of the Lord, and, collectively, we are all His garden, the paradise where He longs to dwell as our Source of Love, as our divine Spouse.
In this image we see the heart of one and all as a garden enclosed and Christ as the Living Water bringing Life to the world. This infusion of the transforming energy of God is not an impersonal force, and it's not a private privilege. It is Jesus, offering Himself to each and every person in the most intimate way possible, in Heart to heart union. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, we receive the energies of God for our own transformation and for the transformation of the whole world. Jesus offers us this triune love not for the sake of perpetuating our limited sense of the self, but for the true understanding of ourselves as persons created in the image of the triune God, created, not as individuals but as a community of love. In Christianity there are no individuals; each human being is a unique, eternal person and at the same time eternally one with all creation.