(These are short summaries; please visit the full explanation of these aspects on this website.)
Centered on the Holy Eucharist
Spiritual Motherhood finds its source in the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ; His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. At Mass, the representation of Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary is being made present again; the same Sacrifice that happened around the year 33A.D. is renewed at every validly celebrated Mass. At the particular moment in time when Jesus died on the Cross, blood and water flowed from His side, and the Church, the mystical body of Christ, was born. This source of grace is being bestowed upon us every time we attend Mass, because it is the exact same sacrifice, offered in an unbloody manner. Thus, Spiritual Mothers, and their spiritual children have its source in the Holy Eucharist.
“And does not physical motherhood also have to be a spiritual motherhood, in order to respond to the whole truth about the human being …? Thus there exist many reasons for discerning in these two different paths – the two different vocations of women – a profound complementarity, and even a profound union within a person’s being.”
–Pope St. John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, 21
Support of the Priesthood of Christ
The main duty for priests is to offer sacrifice, namely the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and to consecrate bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is being re-presented at every Mass and requires the constant “yes” of an ordained minister. Hence, one of the main roles of Spiritual Mothers is to support the priest by her prayers, so the priest can persevere in his duty to offer the Holy Sacrifice as a priest of Jesus Christ.
Imitating Mary, especially in her “Fiat”
The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Spiritual Motherhood started with our Lady’s Fiat (her “yes” to God’s will) at the Annunciation, continued even at the Foot of the Cross when Christ entrusted Mary, Mother of the Church to St. John the Apostle, and will reach its culmination at the end of time.
“For whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother.” –Matthew 12:50
What lies at the heart of Spiritual Motherhood is faithfulness to the Gospel, that is, doing the will of God. After a woman on the streets of Palestine praised the Mother of Christ with the words, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!”, Jesus exclaimed in response, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”. Thus, in referring to His Mother, our Lord not only confirmed the importance of physical motherhood, but in essence, pointed to a greater reality, fidelity to the plan of God, which may be categorized as “Spiritual Motherhood.”