“Everywhere the need exists for maternal sympathy and help, and thus we are able to recapitulate in the one word motherliness that which we have developed as the characteristic value of woman. Only, the motherliness must be that which does not remain within the narrow circle of blood relations or of personal friends; but in accordance with the model of the Mother of Mercy, it must have its root in universal divine love for all who are there, belabored and burdened.” - St. Edith Stein
As the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary approaches I find myself reflecting upon how much Our Blessed Mother loves us, and desires that we, her spiritual children, spend eternity in Heaven with her Beloved Son. By Our Lady's fiat in complete humility and trust in the Lord she was lead to the foot of the Cross where Christ gave her to us as our Spiritual Mother. As our Spiritual Mother she is ever present to the needs of her children, and brings our prayers and intentions to Jesus through her Immaculate Heart.
Some women are called to biological maternity, but all women are called to live in imitation of Mary's fiat by their baptismal consecration to become a public and powerful witness of Christ and to serve His Church with great love. The essence of femininity is to become a spiritual mother, especially to the most neglected and spiritually abandoned children. It is imperative, especially during this turbulent time of such upheaval in our society that women become spiritual mothers by reaching out to children to protect and preserve their pure, little hearts. As the most innocent in our society it is the children who are harmed by the culture; one that exists in a seemingly post-Christian world. The innocence of the pure in heart is threatened by a culture that aims to destroy Christian morals and values.
When I taught religious education it broke my heart to see how many of the children questioned the existence of God, and rarely attended Sunday Mass. It is through the child that our Catholic faith can help to transform entire families. It is the innocence and purity of children that can help lead family members back Home to the Church. Children need to be taught the faith at a young age in a way that becomes meaningful to them, and sets their hearts on fire with a flame that burns brightly with the love of God. They need to know how much God loves them; that they have a Father in Heaven Who cares very much about them, and that He gave His only Begotten Son to save us all from our sins because of how much He Loves us. Children need to know that there is nothing that they can do that will make the Father not Love them.
Many children, especially in inner cities, live in broken homes, in a single parent household, and go home to an empty house each day after school because their parent(s) have to work. They are in great need of a spiritual mother to love them, nurture them, and teach them their faith so that they can grow up to become who God meant them to be in this world. Children need to be shown what love means, so that they learn how to love and to be loved by others. How can they give something that they do not have? How can a little boy grow up to be a loving father or become a priest if he does not know how to love? How can a little girl become a mother or a consecrated woman if she never experienced love in her life? Vocations grow from the home, and since very often the faith is not being taught in the home, we need spiritual mothers to help bring the faith to families through the heart of a child.
We need to pray that these little ones in our society; the most neglected and spiritually abandoned souls, keep their innocence and purity of heart. As women, by authentically living out our lives as witnesses of Christ in the world we can help these children to remain steadfast in their Catholic faith, and to have the strength and courage to rebel against the culture. If they are taught what it means to be loved by God, and have a deep and meaningful relationship with their Heavenly Father then during the difficult times in their lives they will turn to Him instead of the things of this world. They will not search for love in all of the wrong places because they will know that God is always with them, and that He will be waiting for them, and offer them only mercy and forgiveness.