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5 Practical ways to imitate Our Lady’s spiritual motherhood


Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. | Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 12/19/20

These acts of fruitfulness offer all women a model to follow.

Ever since Jesus entrusted his beloved disciple to Our Lady, telling him to see her as his own mother (Jn 19:27), Christ’s followers have recognized Mary as a mother to us all. Her loving care for all Christians is the model par excellence of the spiritual motherhood in which all women can participate. 

What is spiritual motherhood?

“Spiritual motherhood means nurturing the spiritual, moral, emotional, and cultural life in others,” one writer explains, and it’s a “universal vocation” for women. The concept is more commonly talked about today, but discussions about it are often vague. It can be hard to nail down what spiritual motherhood looks like in practice. 

A new and stunningly beautiful book, Theology of Home II: The Spiritual Art of Homemaking, offers an insightful perspective. The authors encourage women to understand spiritual motherhood as a kind of interior fruitfulness: “Despite what the culture may tell us, all women, no matter our vocation, have been hardwired for a kind of fruitfulness, with a unique calling afforded to each of us.” (14)

Carrie Gress PhD & Noelle Mering | TAN Books

Crucially, fruitfulness isn’t just contained in physical bodies, but intimately involves the spirit as well. Motherhood goes far beyond the biological act of bearing a child. A woman who lives fruitfully is a spiritual mother, and such women include religious sisters, single women, and countless other women who are not physical mothers.

Pointing directly to the actions of Our Lady recorded in the Bible, the authors of Theology of Home II identify 5 concrete, specific ways to practice spiritual motherhood. These specific examples help all women to understand what spiritual motherhood looks like in action, so that we can put it into practice in our own lives. The authors write, “These are all ways that fruitfulness can manifest itself in our own lives. Mary was perfect, and we certainly aren’t, but in her humanity, she offers us a model to follow.” (55) Click on the slideshow to discover 5 ways to exercise your spiritual motherhood …


Read more:
How to be a “spiritual mother” whether you have kids or not


Read more:
The beauty of spiritual motherhood, according to John Paul II

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