The Priesthood and Spiritual Maternity

StLucyThe practice of true spiritual maternity, that is, women being faithful to the will of God (and the works connected with it), cannot be separated from the Sacrifice of the Mass. All good works done by anyone, spiritual mothers included, find their ultimate meaning and purpose when offered in union with the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.1 Jesus is the one Mediator between God and man; He accepts our good works and presents them to the Father.2 Therefore, the understanding of motherhood in general, both the conception of human life (body and soul) in the womb of a woman, and people being born in the order of grace, cannot be separated from the Mass and, with that in mind, the priesthood. Only validly ordained priests continue the representation of the Sacrifice of Christ at every Mass.

Since our Lord now sits at the “right hand of God”3, He can no longer die, and thus His priesthood will last forever. As the Letter to the Hebrews states, “but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever.” (7:24)

Alongside Christ’s Eternal Priesthood, Mary’s Motherhood in the order of grace will last until the end of time. As Pope St. John Paul II states, “In fact the Council teaches that the ‘motherhood of Mary in the order of grace…will last without interruption until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect.’”4

In conclusion, the good acts and qualities of spiritual maternity such as empathy, passion, and caring, find their fulfillment by offering them up to the Eternal Father in union with His Son’s Passion on the Cross. Pope John Paul II expands by saying:

Here we perceive the real value of the words spoken by Jesus to his Mother at the hour of the Cross: “Woman, behold your son” and to the disciple: “Behold your mother” (Jn. 19:26-27). They are words which determine Mary’s place in the life of Christ’s disciples and they express as I have already said the new motherhood of the Mother of the Redeemer: a spiritual motherhood, born from the heart of the Paschal Mystery of the Redeemer of the world. It is a motherhood in the order of grace, for it implores the gift of the Spirit, who raises up the new children of God, redeemed through the sacrifice of Christ: that Spirit whom Mary too, together with the Church, received on the day of Pentecost.5

Her motherhood is particularly noted and experienced by the Christian people at the Sacred Banquet the liturgical celebration of the mystery of the Redemption at which Christ, his true body born of the Virgin Mary, becomes present. […] Mary guides the faithful to the Eucharist.6

1) cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 34; Sacrosanctum Concilium, 48
2) cf. Vatican II; Sacrosanctum Concilium, 5, 6
3) Holy Bible, Hebrews 10:12
4) Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, 40
5) ibid, 44
6) ibid

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