Our Lady: Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church
The Blessed Virgin Mary is not only the physical Mother of Jesus Christ, but also the Mother of the Church, the Mother of those redeemed by Christ. By our loving concern for our neighbor and by our love for Christ’s Holy Priesthood, we try to imitate her virtues and way of life.
Women become who they are called to be in their fidelity to Christ and their imitation of His Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Womanhood and Motherhood find their true significance in the example of the Mother of God. Women are called to participate in Mary’s Spiritual Maternity while they answer their call of being true women dedicated to Christ. Therefore, as Pope John Paul II so eloquently states:
Given Mary’s relationship to the Church as an exemplar, the Church is close to her and seeks to become like her: “Imitating the Mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she preserves with virginal purity an integral faith, a firm hope, and a sincere charity.” Mary is thus present in the mystery of the Church as a model. But the Church’s mystery also consists in generating people to a new and immortal life: this is her motherhood in the Holy Spirit. And here Mary is not only the model and figure of the Church; she is much more. For, “with maternal love she cooperates in the birth and development” of the sons and daughters of Mother Church. The Church’s motherhood is accomplished not only according to the model and figure of the Mother of God but also with her “cooperation.” (Redemptoris Mater, 44)