Danielle Heckenkamp maintains that the vocation of motherhood is a slow process toward sainthood.
Through the channel of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, it is God’s love that molds women into virtuous mothers. There is no escaping that women truly desire to share love and to help those in need. The fruitful nature of women thrives when its purpose is to love beyond one’s selfish tendencies and to find God’s love in that process. This is the growth of the heart of every mother who strives towards virtuous living.
The vocation of motherhood is a slow process toward sainthood, in which God patiently waits for our spiritual growth. Too frequently, society considers motherhood solely the process of raising children. This is a true and beautiful fact, but it has an even deeper spiritual element that is oftentimes lost in the secular world. Motherhood is the means towards sainthood—not only our own personal sanctity, but also that of our husband and children.
The word “vocation” comes from the Latin word vocare, meaning "to call." As the word “vocation” often refers to religious callings, there is no doubt that motherhood is a calling too. From a young age, little girls play house and school. The calling of a young girl to nurture and care for others is innate from early on. This is clearly a fruitful gift from God that cannot be ignored. Such a desire does not diminish even if a young woman chooses the single life or the religious life—these desires are inherent in the heart of every woman, though they might be used in different vocational ways.
The vocation of a mother is a slow process toward developing a virtuous life. The vices that encompass self-satisfaction are gradually stripped away through motherhood. This is not a quick process, and often women go through this spiritual growth kicking and screaming. Not in the sense of rejecting responsibilities, but in giving up our selfish nature and putting our faith in God first as Our Lady gave her fiat.
But when each of us places our trust in God, then miracles happen. Maybe not to the extent of moving mountains or walking on water, but small miracles within those four beautiful walls of our homes. It could be something as small as receiving a bouquet of wildflowers from one of our children. Maybe it is learning to love homemaking, not due to societal pressures or Instagram worthy photos, but to give back to those souls entrusted to our care.
Those morning offering prayers and the evening Rosary might be the consistency that our children will one day look back upon and transfer such traditions to their own family. Or a grateful word from a teenager for a delicious family dinner. Ultimately, the greatest miracle is watching our children grow in virtue and having the ability to eventually enter the world independent of a mother’s constant oversight—this is a truly a blessing. These are the miracles of motherhood.
It is easy to slowly move into a daily rut and forget our higher purpose as mothers. The 15 minutes of fame that the secular world so desperately desires is not a factor in motherhood. The rewards of a virtuous mother are far greater than anything this world could supply. For motherhood is a path towards sanctification and not only personal sanctity, but also those of family and friends.
The reach of a mother’s love far exceeds the walls of one’s home—it can transcend future generations. This is the miraculous reach of motherhood. To assume that motherhood lacks the splendor of secular occupations is a misconception. Rather, motherhood is a virtuous gift from God that develops the soul of a women towards sainthood, while also raising future generations of saints for God’s glory.
Copyright 2023 Danielle Heckenkamp
About the Author
Danielle Heckenkamp is a stay at home mom and freelance writer who lives in Wisconsin with her husband and six children. Danielle writes about her daily experiences as a mom and love for her Catholic Faith. Danielle is the co-author of a nonfiction book about manners and common sense. You can step inside Danielle s daily life on Instagram.