Thursday, February 4, 2010
Motherhood of the Consecrated Life
I have mentioned a few times that consecrated virgins are spiritual mothers... but I will go into this in more detail now. Gregory of Nyssa, mentioned in the below cited book, put this very well when he said "Truly and solidly does the virgin mother rejoice, for she by her spiritual work gives birth to immortal children." The virgin mother feeds the babes of the soul with the fruits of her purity, and this nourishment lasts even into Heaven.
Perhaps there is no love so tender as that of a mother. This is also true with spiritual mothers. A true spiritual mother loves each child tenderly, and counsels each in turn. Those who are far away are held by a loving bond to her heart and receive the labors of her prayer just as those who are nearby. She thinks and prays about her children, even those she has never met, and through Jesus she knows them.
Thomas Dubay makes a powerful point in his book "...And You Are Christ's." Jesus said "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it cannot bear fruit. But if it dies it bears rich harvest." According to Dubay, this explains why virgin mothers make a gift of themselves to God, for in dying and trading their own existence for God's, they are growing a rich harvest of spiritual children. A virgin mother's sacrifice must be absolute, so that it can touch as many hearts as Christ's absolute heart touches.
A virgin mother is not distracted from her love. She loves Jesus and her children completely and throws her whole heart into her service of them. She is not distracted by places and time, for wherever she is and whatever the time, she can serve all His children equally and fully. Thus, consecrated virginity is an absolute motherhood, like that of which Mary is the model.