My experience with discerning religious life and entering into marriage have taught me that every woman is a mother. Every woman is called to be a mother, though her motherhood is expressed differently and uniquely. Reading Edith Stein's Essays on Women has confirmed what I have known in my heart--that every woman, no matter her state in life, is to be a mother. For motherhood is not confined to raising one's biological children, but rather, "to be a mother innately means to cultivate, to guard, and to develop true humanity. Both spiritual companionship and spiritual motherliness are not limited to the physical wife and mother relationship, but they extend to all people with whom woman comes into contact" (Essays on Women).