In essence, Mary is our spiritual mother because she participated with Jesus in obtaining the graces of redemption, and as a result, was given the privileged role of distributing the graces of redemption to her earthly children. Thus the Mother of Jesus participates in the mothering actions of interceding, of birthing, of nourishing, and of protecting humanity in the supernatural order through sanctifying grace.
How specifically does Mary act as a spiritual mother to us? She does so in the spiritual order in the same three basic ways that a good earthly mother does so in the natural order.
First, a good mother suffers for her child. This oftentimes happens shortly after conception, but certainly continues through gestation, at the labor of birth, and throughout the lifelong sacrificial vocation of motherhood for her child.
Secondly, a good mother nourishes her child. It is not enough to bring her child into existence through conception and birth, but she must also feed her child and nurture her child in love and formation.
Thirdly, a good mother intercedes for her child. A good mother pleads for the best for her child, whether it be in the areas of education, moral direction, social activity, recreation, in most all aspects of the child’s life. A mother’s intercession is especially powerful whenever her child is in risk of any danger or difficulty.
These are precisely the three foundational ways, that of 1)suffering; 2) nourishing; and 3) interceding, by which the Mother of Jesus exercises her spiritual and maternal functions on behalf of the entire human family.