I found this lovely little reflection from Alice von Hildebrand, which I thought would allow for saying Happy Mother’s Day to just about everyone. The idea is that we all have a role to play. We put a lot of emphasis on biological mothering, all of us, perhaps non-religious folks most of all. Hence the drive to IVF, for example. If we think more broadly about the term, and the need for mentors and spiritual mothers, then it takes a lot of pressure off.
I never had the incredible privilege of having children of my own, yet last year I was bombarded with Mother’s Day cards and wishes. If you don’t have children, for goodness sake don’t believe that you have to give up motherhood.
Motherhood is not only biological maternity. It is spiritual maternity. There are hundreds of people all around who are desperately looking for a mother. A number of people have come to me to tell me about their problems. I listen to them. And I love them. And I say very little. But they know that I care for them. In this sense, I have become their mother….
Spiritual motherhood is more important than biological motherhood. There are plenty of women who are biological mothers and yet are not mothers at all. Some consider their child to be a nuisance and an accident, saying “I didn’t want it.” Take for instance women who have an abortion for convenience’s sake. God offers them a tremendous gift but they say, “No, I don’t want it; it’s going to disturb me.”
From now on your daily prayer should be, “God, send me spiritual children and I will never turn any one of them down. The more the better.” Simple as that. Pray for the gift of spiritual children. It might very well be that in your beautiful desire to be a biological mother you have overlooked cases where you could have become a spiritual mother. Many of my students became my spiritual children, even though they were young adults already.