890. Is maternal love an instinctive virtue or feeling shared by both humans and animals?
“It is both. Nature has endowed a mother with the love of her children to guarantee their survival. In animals, maternal love is limited to providing the material needs of the mother’s offspring. This affection ceases when this care is no longer needed. In the human race it lasts for a lifetime and assumes a character of selfless devotion, raising it to a virtue. It even survives death, and follows the child in the afterlife. Therefore, there is more to this love in humans than that which exists in animals.” (See nos. 205-385)