5 Practical ways to imitate Our Lady’s spiritual motherhood


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)



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 …


Assist a friend or relative in need

Mary traveled to visit and help her cousin during Elizabeth’s pregnancy at an advanced age. Making an extra effort to support and assist others, whether they are struggling with an illness, a rough pregnancy, or any other difficulty, is a powerful act of spiritual motherhood in imitation of Our Lady.

Save friends from embarrassment

At the Wedding Feast at Cana, Our Lady stepped in to make sure the wedding had all the necessities when the couple almost ran out of wine, which would have been humiliating for them. Spiritual motherhood can include a habit of caring attention, making it possible to notice little ways to “save” a situation or have a friend’s back.

Guiding others to follow God’s will

Mary’s last recorded words in Scripture are really all that needs to be said of her son: “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5). She spiritually guides her children to be obedient to God’s will, as spiritual mothers can do for the souls they encounter.

Spiritually adopting those in need of love and care

One of Christ’s last acts on the Cross was to entrust the Blessed Virgin and St. John to each other. Scripture only tells us that John “took her into his home” (Jn 19:27), but we can imagine that her presence there was an immeasurable blessing to him, as he benefited from her wisdom, goodness, and loving care.

Staying close to Christ no matter the cost

Throughout Christ’s life, Mary stayed as close to him as she could, even on the day of His Crucifixion and after he had died. She gives an example of the importance of uniting ourselves closely to Christ, in all aspects of our lives, even when it might seem hard to do so.



Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button