To remain with Christ as His companions of the Cross.
SPIRITUAL MOTHERS FOR PRIESTS
Fr. Jordi Rivero
"Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the Heart of God but it passes through the heart of a mother". -Pope St. Pius X
Spiritual motherhood was established by Christ at Calvary when he joined the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John as mother and son (Cf. Jn. 19-26-27). Spiritual mothers for priests continue this Marian vocation as called forth by the Congregation for the Clergy on their website.
With all my heart I wish to encourage and offer special thanks to all mothers of priests and seminarians - and along with them to all consecrated and lay women who have received... the gift of spiritual motherhood towards those who are called to priestly ministry. By offering their lives, their prayers, their sufferings and their hardships as well as their joys for the fidelity and sanctification of God’s ministers, they have come to share in a special way in the motherhood of Holy Church, whose model and fulfillment is found in the divine maternity of Mary Most Holy. —Cardinal Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, 2012
The Holy Spirit unites women with Mary to participate in her maternity for priests. They offer their lives for the sanctification of priests. It is a vocation that must be lived in the heart of Mary, imitating her virtues, especially purity, humility and sacrifice. Spiritual mothers relate to priests with the heart of Mary, drawing graces from Jesus at the Cross.
All priests need a spiritual mother
Cardinal Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, 2008, wrote:
We cannot do without a spiritual motherhood for our priestly life...
It has always silently accompanied the chosen ranks of priests in the course of the Church's history. It is the concrete entrustment of our ministry to a specific face, to a consecrated soul who has been called by Christ and therefore chooses to offer herself, with the necessary suffering and the inevitable struggles of life, to intercede for our priestly existence, thereby dwelling in Christ's sweet presence.
Like Mary, all women have the gift to be mothers beyond natural child bearing.
Pope Francis, while speaking to religious women, said a few things that perfectly apply as well to lay women, both single and married, who have consecrated their lives to Mary and embraced the charism of spiritual motherhood:
Chastity generates spiritual children in the Church. ...May this joy of spiritual fecundity motivate your life; be mothers, as a figure of Mary, Mother, and of Mother Church. It is impossible to understand Mary without her motherhood; it is impossible to understand the Church apart from her motherhood and you are icons of Mary and the Church.
What would the Church do without you? She would lack your motherhood, warmth, tenderness and motherly intuition! —May 8, 2013
As a spiritual mother receives the grace to live her vocation, her maternity expands. She joins to Christ her daily chores for the sake of her spiritual sons as well as for all those that God has placed in her life. The women who accompanied Jesus were spiritual mothers.
Who can be a spiritual mother for priests
Spiritual mothers may be married, religious, widowed, single, young or old. It is a vocation from God, not a right. We discover the call as we strive to abandon our lives to God.
1- Unite their daily chores with Jesus and Mary, offering themselves in reparation, intercession and thanksgiving for the restoration of their families, priests and all.
2- Encourage their sons, like Mary did, to embrace the Cross. They do not spoil their sons. Mary also went to Calvary with St. John and wants to take every priest to unite them with her Son. Other examples: The mother who encouraged each of her sons to become a martyr. "Although she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord." (2 Maccabees 7). Also, St. Rita, who asked God for the death of her sons if that would prevent them from becoming murderers.
3- Pray that priests may radiate Christ in everything; they pray for those priests who seldom pray; for those who have fallen into sin and vices; for the deliverance of priests who are oppressed, depressed, in despair; for those who have lost their love for the Lord; for the perseverance of all. She also prays for those who have been hurt, alienated or scandalized by priests; for the sheep who do not have a good shepherd.
Prayer includes adoration for those who do not adore, as the angel taught the children at Fatima:
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.
4- Seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for those who have forgotten her. They plead with Mary that priests may "worship in spirit and truth" (Jn 4:24) and therefore be pure priest-victims united to Christ.' They also do reparation to console the wounded heart of Jesus who grieves over the coldness, offenses and betrayals of his priests and waits for them to return to His merciful embrace.