In a world that spurns motherhood and virginity, I strongly recommend reading Fulton Sheen’s book on Mary, the Virgin Mother of God: The World’s First Love. It’s a wonderful book that offers more than mere Marian apologetic, it offers us a vision of Woman and by doing so helps us compare women to the ideal rather than the pale shadow which secular culture offers. When God dreamed of His own mother, he dreamed not of Britney Spears or Lady Gaga, but of Mary. And because Mary is God’s ideal:
She is the one whom every man loves… She is what every woman wants to be… And this beloved blueprint love, whom God loved before the world was made; this Dream Woman before women were, is the one of whom every heart can say in its depth of depths: “She is the Woman I love!”In another passage, Sheen addresses the importance of virginity and motherhood, and their unity in Mary:
There is something incomplete about virginity, something ungiven, unsurrendered, kept back. There is something lost in all motherhood: something given, something taken – and something irrecoverable… In Mary there was nothing unsurrendered, nothing lost; there was a harvest without the loss of the bud; an autumn in the eternal spring; a submission without spoliation. Virgin and Mother!
Because in this one Woman, Virginity and Motherhood are united, it must be that God willed to show how both are necessary for the world. What are separated in other creatures are united in her. The Mother is the protectress of the Virgin, and the Virgin is the inspiration of motherhood.