A Mother's Spiritual Diary


The love of Christ animated each day more and more Conchita's heart and the least significant actions of her life. She loved her husband and children passionately but as if it were "enwrapped in this same love" (Aut. 1, 105)

When but a child, at the family hacienda, and after she was older, at her brother's farm, she had noticed that the owner's mark was branded with a red hot iron on the cattle. She dreamed she too would have branded on her flesh the effigy of Christ. A similar case is found in the life of the saints, as, for instance, that of blessed Henri Suzo, a Dominican. An even more similar case is that of St. Jeanne de Chantal. When she was a young widow her family asked her to remarry. To put a stop to this, she withdrew into her bedroom and engraved over her heart the Name "Jesus." The scars were still there when she died, while there only remained a blurred last letter, an "S." St. Francis de Sales made it quite clear that had he been there he would never have allowed her to do it. Saints are at times more admirable than imitable. The same might be said of Conchita.

"By dint of many a plea, I got my director's permission to engrave the initials on the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, January 14, 1894... I cut on my bosom in large letters: J.H.S. No sooner had I done this than I felt a supernatural force which threw me, face down, on the floor, my eyes filled with tears and a burning flame within my heart. Vehemently and zealously I then asked the Lord for the salvation of souls: Jesus, Savior of souls, save them, save them!

"l remember nothing more: souls, souls for Jesus! That was all I desired... The ardor of my soul far surpassed the burning sensation of my body and I experienced an ineffable joy on feeling I belonged wholly to Jesus, just as a branded animal to its owner. Yes indeed. I belonged wholly to Jesus; to my Jesus who will save so many poor souls called to bring Him glory. Enraptured, I spent the rest of the day with an ardent desire of solitude and prayer but awaiting a visit I was to receive" (Aut. 205-206).

Such an act as this is dependent on the order of charisms and on the folly of the love in imitation of a Crucified God. It is explained by the exceptional mission of the foundress of the Works of the Cross called to be spread throughout whole world. Therese of Lisieux, Conchita's favorite saint, however, used another way for proving to Jesus her loving folly, dreaming the love which refuses nothing, is in the Church. We must take into account people's temperaments, their personal grace and the mission of each one. It is the same Spirit which expresses itself in letters of fire and blood but also, no less forcefully, in absolute fidelity to the least sacrifice. In Christianity, heroism of the lowest is united to heroism of the highest in the transports of the same Spirit of Love.

The monogram inaugurated a new phase, the repercussions of which were felt on her personal life, on her apostolic radiance, and, in a charismatic way, through divine illuminations for the benefit of the whole Church.

This is so in the economy of salvation. Privileged actions sometimes extend their salvific effect on the whole Mystical Body of Christ. This was so, to a unique degree, of Mary's "fiat" which saved the world. With due proportion, the least human act has its effect on the history of the world and can only be adequately measured at the Last Judgment.