Human life starts not within a man, but within a woman.
Women have been entrusted to human beings in a very unique and unrepeatable way. All people, boys and girls alike, are nurtured, nourished, and loved directly by their mothers while they are in the womb.
We cannot think of life without thinking of Motherhood; we cannot think of existence, without thinking about women and their cooperation with God.
Note well, the womb of a woman is not just for a “physical baby”; the womb is a place where God infuses a soul within a human being, that is, a soul and body destined for eternity in Heaven.1 In his writings, Pope St. John Paul II describes this “soul and body” combination as a human person with incomparable worth.2 Therefore, the essence of motherhood and the empty space in the womb of a woman were both meant for a unique, precious and unrepeatable relationship between two human persons. For this reason, Pope St. John Paul II stated:
Of the essence of motherhood is the fact that it concerns the person. Motherhood always establishes a unique and unrepeatable relationship between two people: between mother and child and between child and mother. Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood. For each child is generated in a unique and unrepeatable way, and this is true both for the mother and for the child.3
With that in mind, being a mother constitutes more than simply caring for “bodily needs,” but should also be concerned for the salvation and moral life of children. Thus, women contribute to the Church and society their ability not only to provide for the temporal needs of children, but also in aiding them in their moral and spiritual life directed toward Heaven. This approach is truly life giving, and this type of maternity can be described as spiritual motherhood.
1) cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 366
2) cf. Pope St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 2
3) idem, Redemptoris Mater, 45