Blog/CYM Blog

Spiritual Motherhood

A comment was made to me the day before leaving a training week for summer missionaries. “Sister, I bet you will be glad to say good-bye to us and get back home.”

Little did she know that it was the furthest from the truth. In fact, my heart was already sad at the thought of having to say good-bye. I journeyed with these women for weeks as they prepared to love and serve teens for the summer. Now I had to leave. I wouldn’t get to witness the transformation over the coming weeks. I had to entrust them to Jesus, and He would take care of them.

“Actually, no, I am sad at the thought of leaving! You’re my “kids” now. You are in my heart, and I take you with me, and I will be praying for you. Once you are in my heart, you are not going anywhere.” This is a part of what it means to live out spiritual motherhood.

The thought of giving up being a mom is very difficult for many women considering a religious vocation. This feeling is natural! However, giving up having one’s own children does not mean one is giving up being a mother. The truth is all women are called to be mothers. Some are called to physical motherhood raising their own children. Others are called to spiritual motherhood and “mother” hundreds of souls. Just as a mother of children grows in caring for her children from newborn to adult, a spiritual mother grows in learning what it means to care for souls.

How many of your physical moms remember the pain of labor when giving birth? What was it like when you held your newborn child? Were you only thinking of the pain you had just endured? Okay, maybe a little, but I am sure your heart was filled with awe and gratitude as you held the little one that was within you. Now, I do not know the physical pain endured to bring new life. As a spiritual mother, I do know what it means to suffer for a soul to come to life. To be a mother involves sacrifice and to bear the cost of new life. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

What does it look like to be a spiritual mom? Warning: It may look a little similar to being a physical mom. Here are just a few things:

Listening
Sacrificing
Interceding

It all comes down to love. Isn’t that what moms do? Love? Mothers love unconditionally. Moms love when no one else cares. Mums (for our British brothers and sisters) love the messy-ness of their kids. Moms look deeper than the exterior.

As a spiritual mother, I am invited to love every person I encounter including the 90-year-old woman who prays in our adoration chapel or a college student struggling with depression. I am called to love the young teen at a conference who tells me he is entering the seminary or some “kids” the Lord sends me for just a moment. Whether it’s a classroom full of 5th graders I speak to for half an hour or the young woman discerning a vocation to religious life who I’m sent to accompany on a journey for several years.

In all of the people Jesus sends me I encounter a piece of His Heart. This is the gift of spiritual motherhood. I encounter Jesus. I am given a gift to love Him in His children. I strive to look deeper to see the good in every person. I want every soul to know the love of Jesus. I want the Father’s children to know Him. I want them to encounter His love. He has given me the heart to love all.

A mother’s heart aches for her children. Sometimes I too, ache for my “children” to know Jesus.

So, once I meet you, you’re in my heart for good! I will bring you to the Heart of Jesus.

About the Author

Sister M. Consolata, FSGM

Little did I know as a young girl that following Jesus would take me from California to the Mid-west! This is now my home with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George. I enjoy a good sunset, coffee with some creamer, and a smile. Above all, I love Jesus and His Blessed Mama and want others to know their Hearts. You can learn more about the Sisters at www.altonfranciscans.org.