The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Fruit of the Mystery: Eternal Happiness
Imitating Mary in Spiritual Motherhood
by Steffani Aquila
In all honesty, growing close to Mary was something that was very challenging for me. When I was in my college years, I wanted a close relationship and devotion to her so badly that I tried everything imaginable!
I took up devotion after devotion. I wore a scapular, then the Miraculous Medal. I strived to pray a Rosary each week, and then a Rosary a day. Even with all of my efforts and gestures of faith, I felt emotionless.
What I longed for was a spiritual experience that would bond me to her. Through sincere introspection I realized that the deep desire that I had for closeness with Our Lady, came from a need to fill the hole in my heart from a lack of relationship with my own physical mother.
It was that lack of motherly experience that really put me at a loss with how to connect to our Blessed Mother. To put it simply, I was doing all the
motions but with a guarded heart. But I wouldn’t quit so easily.
Faith has taught me to keep enduring and to keep seeking, even when I don’t feel much. I have come to understand that this is truly what devotion is. And so, I grasped on to my Marian prayers and daily moments of seeking her intercession while moving forward.
I believe that devotedness to having a relationship with her paired well with the graces of being betrothed on her birthday, and through my engagement I finally felt her spiritual, maternal, embrace in the ways that I had longed for.
Perhaps it was the intensity of this time that encouraged me to prepare for being a holy wife and mother, and Mary was my model. It was a lovely season of my life in which mothered me in my adult years, which up to that point, I had sorely been lacking.
I couldn’t wait to share this beautiful, feminine love that I had received from Our Lady with my own children. I prayed for many little ones that I could love on, pray with, teach, and show authentic femininity to. I knew that Mary would continue to be my guide.
After several months of marriage and no children I knew that something must be wrong. And unfortunately, I was right, we are infertile. As you can imagine, my heart was broken.
I thought, how could this be that after a long journey of seeking motherhood and bonding to Mary that I would be without children?
With some levity I can say that I should have prayed more specifically when I asked for “many little ones.” This certainly wasn’t my plan, but it seems that
God is in fact using me in a maternal way for others.
I was gifted the honor of being allowed the opportunity to imitate Mary in spiritual motherhood. So, in a profound way, I do get to share that beautiful, feminine love that I received from Our Lady.
I am blessed with the opportunity to be a godmother to several children, and I am able to dedicate myself and my time to the spiritual growth of others. Through our suffering I found great joy in clinging to the liturgical year traditions that our families had gifted us with.
And now I get to teach other women, men, families, and parishes how to find joy in life too. Mary’s life and example has shown me in a very real way, that we sometimes have to abandon ourselves to the Lord.
Mary does this with her fiat, and out of love for her as my mother, I seek to imitate
this. I pray that my spiritual motherhood can be even a small reflection of what Mary’s is for all of humanity.
About Steffani: Steffani Aquila is the Director of Liturgical Life for the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and the founder of His Girl Sunday, a business and blog that helps individuals, families, and parishes live liturgically and build long-lasting, authentic Catholic traditions. She has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies and has worked in Catholic high schools as a dean and an honors level Theology teacher. When she’s not doing those things, you can find her reading theological books, hosting feast day parties for family & friends, and ballet dancing down the aisles of Hobby Lobby.