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Dear Edith

Dear Edith Response #2 – Julie

I'm not maternal: Catholic women respond -- FemCatholic.com

Read the original question here.

Dear anonymous,

One of the beautiful revelations for me of reading St. John Paul II’s Letter to Women, was discovering the Catholic church upheld women working. Up unto then, I thought the only way to be a true woman was to be a SAHM. Being present in the workplace as a woman balances the workplace environment.

God perhaps has withheld imparting the desire for biological maternity to spare you the agony of wanting something that is not yet attainable in your life because you are single. You can live what is called spiritual motherhood.

Spiritual motherhood is a beautiful gift. I witnessed this in a profound way on a mission trip to Haiti. I was with a group of college students, priests, and consecrated women. We were ministering in the wound clinic. The wounds were severe and very painful. A consecrated woman knelt down at the feet of a woman with a severe toe wound. Very lovingly, gently and so Christ like she soothed the women as the consecrated debrided her foot – without pain meds. This consecrated woman was ministering Christ present in the Haitian woman. Such a profound beauty of spiritual motherhood. Also on the trip, I witnessed these consecrated women rock babies, feed babies, and lovingly hold them. Again, another way to care for others in our femininity in lieu of biological motherhood.

I was moved to tears as I was seeing my heart being stretched to love in a greater expansion. And this witness was from a woman who has never bore children that compelled me, a mother of four, to examine my own heart.

 this witness was from a woman who has never bore children that compelled me, a mother of four, to examine my own heart.

“A woman’s dignity is closely connected with the love which she receives by the very reason of her femininity. Woman can only find herself by giving love to others.”  – Mulieris Dignitatem

Spiritual motherhood comes to us primarily through the door of our generosity to love others. – Our hearts are created with a unique magnanimity to love others. God calls some to live a life of singleness. Through this vocation, you can do great things for God.

I am now a mom who is about to send my last one off to college. My friends who have been called to single life (and are not religious), are able to fulfill serving the Lord for his Kingdom in ways I cannot. What a magnificent tapestry of humanity God weaves for all of us in our varied vocations to serve the greater Church family. Perhaps God is calling you to greater way to love through singleness at this time in your life.

~Julie


Julie is a wife and mom to four children. She is about to send her last one to college (accepting wine, chocolate, and prayers). As a young mom, Julie’s faith took a big leap when she was invited by a friend to gather with other women to learn the beauty of our vocation of living authentic feminism. This study sparked a joy in Julie and she has been active ever since in helping women discover their unique gifts imbued by God. Julie has walked with many women in this journey. She is a self proclaimed “women’s study groupie”. Loving God’s sense of humor, Julie is a former nurse who now is Co-Host of Catholic Women Now weekly radio program heard on Iowa Catholic Radio. Julie can be contacted at jklmnelson@mchsi.com.

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