Jesus chose to be born of a mother and because of this, must highly regard motherhood! As we prepare to honor our own mothers this Mother’s Day, we also look to Mary, the model of all motherhood, whose spiritual maternity encompasses all humanity. At the foot of the cross, He made spiritual motherhood a reality by entrusting all of humanity to her in three simple words, “Behold your mother!” But what exactly is spiritual motherhood?
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (formerly known as Edith Stein), said, “Woman is destined to be bride and mother. Both physically and spiritually, she is endowed for this purpose.” Women have special gifts they bring to humanity by the very fact that they are women.
Physically, they have a space inside them, to receive and nurture life, but this physical space points to an even deeper spiritual capacity within the heart of every woman to receive another person, to make another feel welcome, accepted, embraced, and loved.
Consecrated women have a particular vocation to be spiritual mothers. This motherhood is a fruit of their union with Christ from which everything else flows. In a religious vocation, a woman is asked by the Lord to love others in a more expansive way, one that is not limited to particular individuals within her family.
She is asked to love all of those who are placed before her and entrusted to her care, giving each one her attention, her tenderness, her time, and her prayers.
As we prepare to honor our earthly mothers this Mother’s Day, let us also honor those many spiritual mothers in our lives, whose selfless love has helped form and embrace us in countless ways: grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, godmothers, coaches, mentors, teachers…