NAS: Spiritual motherhood
Most of us single ladies aren’t mothers here on Earth, but that doesn’t mean we’re not mothers at all. Christianity has a long tradition of “parents” who become our leaders, protectors, guides, and counselors by spiritual means instead of physical. Do you have spiritual children? Godchildren, adults you sponsored through the RCIA, your close friends’ kids, or students? How do you build relationships with them as a mother? Have you ever spiritually adopted an unborn baby in danger of abortion, or spiritually adopted any such persons as co-workers, acquaintances, priests or religious? Are all women called to be mothers?
The concept of spiritual motherhood is fairly new to me, so I hope my thoughts make sense. I first heard of the concept when reading Discovering the Feminine Genius: Every Woman’s Journey by Katrina J. Zeno. I love the suggestions posed in the prompt for ways to be a spiritual mother. Although I am an earthly single mother to a child, I believe all women are called to be mothers. While we all may not give birth or adopt a child, there are many heartening ways to enrich, nurture and live out the calling of a mother.
To me, the calling of a mother is about
Laying down your life
Providing an impressionable child with the tools to succeed
Loving when it’s difficult
Joyfully living out the gospel
Clinging to the cross for strength
Whether you are a Godmother to a beloved child,a teacher, a nurse or a nanny for an assemblage of kiddos, one aspect I have learned from the amazing spiritual work from St. John Paul II’s Theology of The Body is we are called to freely give ourselves in love. While I used to think of Totb as being writen for married couples, I have learned it’s about who we uniquely are as men and women.
Whether it’s helping a little one realize the importance of boundaries, caring for a sick child or conveying to a young adult the importance of virtue, we are giving of ourselves; we are sharing what we have learned through our life experiences. We are passing down traditions and teachings which will help our beloved get to heaven.
Just as priests are like father-figures here on earth, I believe the same can be said for spiritual mothers.
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Until next time,