"On returning from the obsequies of Msgr. Ramon lbarra, my forehead pressed against the tabernacle. My heart torn, I offered myself to the divine will. Then there began for me the great 'solitude' and with it, the last stage of my life."
Upon the death of her director, February 2, 1917, the Lord Himself had announced to Conchita: "There remains for you to pass the last stage of your life imitating My Mother for obtaining graces for the Works of the Cross. Tempest will rise over them as over My Church, but they will triumph and will be your crown. Have courage, be brave! Carry on your mission, imitate the virtues of Mary in her
solitude, virtues which brought about Her union with Me, Her obedience to My will and Her desire of heaven."
The route was traced by the Lord. Conchita carried out her existence on earth, as did the Mother of Jesus after His Ascension, in the solitude and isolation of the evening of her life. Twenty years of
solitude, from February 2, 1917, to March 3, 1937, the day of her death.
She will see her external apostolate gradually diminish. From then on she will be an apostle by prayer and immolation. God will detach her from everything. She will know, more and more, solitude of the heart, and especially solitude of the soul, through an apparent remoteness from God, just as Jesus was abandoned by His Father on the Cross.
One year after another, each one of her children marry, leaving her more and more alone. It is the inevitable law of life, yet
Conchita's sensitive heart, suffered painfully, at times to excess. Her children surrounded her with affection and attention, but they had their own tasks, their own responsibilities in their new home and in their struggle for existence. She feels more and more alone when evening comes.
"I am in the most complete solitude of soul, but it is God's will and God, for me, is only there where His will is found. I do not understand anything any more, I am in chaos. This need to express my soul, my desires, my impressions, even on paper, all this has disappeared. I tend to keep secret my impressions, my tastes and even my sufferings and tears. I want to hide everything in Jesus. All is for Him alone. What a change has come over me! I clearly see that everything passes, changes, is consummated. On the earth, all is shadow, vanity and lies. The real, the true, what is of value, what endures, what is, is in heaven. The earth with all its things, all of them, are but a lever to raise oneself to Him. All is lost in God: loves, sorrows, dreams, expectations, desires, aspirations, and all, all, disappear in Him.
"If I review my past life, if I consult my heart, I discover its affections. They have passed. Its desires, the most ardent ones, have passed. Its vanities and even its faults and disorderly acts, its excessive yearnings for such and such a thing, have passed, definitively passed. I loved my husband most dearly. It has passed. I ardently desired to be a nun, now that is all the same to me: to be or not to be, to die here or there, in a miserable courtyard, or in my house, alone or surrounded by others, loved or abhorred or despised. I have only one desire: that in me the divine will be done" (Diary, Nov. 16, 1917).
It would not be right to think that her heart, the heart of a wife and mother, is detached from all legitimate affections. On the contrary, the more Conchita advances in life and in divine union, the more human she seems to us. All her loves are then transfigured in Christ. Her heart is faithful to all the family anniversaries, to the least festivals and gatherings of her children, to their joys, their trials and tribulations. When their businesses were threatened in 1931 by the American financial depression, she begs God to save them, for they are honest, have worked hard all their lives, and are now struggling valiantly against the consequences of the devaluation of the dollar. "Illness is still afflicting me, in most sufferings and family troubles, seeing ruin of my children approaching, accompanied by humiliations. This tortures my heart, even though I have accepted it and welcomed it as the most holy will of God. Still, this does not take away the material pain I feel which involves a whole world of sufferings" (May 22, 1931). "There are deepest pains, as a sword pierces my heart. I have seen one of my sons weep when, after thirty years of labor, he saw himself threatened by the ruin of his business. The sight of tears touched us all.
"Each one of my sons, besides the disgrace of the failure of his business soon to come, would find himself and his family on the street… Lord I only ask You to give me the strength needed and to sustain the faith of my children" (Diary, May 28, 1931).
This wonderful mother, sixty-nine years old, consummated in holiness, sent up to God this cry of distress ardently begging Him: "I am pained on seeing my children suffer, it seems that God does not wish their businesses to succeed, and that they are threatened with disaster. Lord, may Your will be done, even though my heart is broken and crucified. For myself, Oh Jesus, I want nothing. Reject me! Leave me in wretchedness, abandoned and living on charity! I can no longer think of myself, but I cannot be unmindful of my children!" (Diary, Nov. 11, 1931).
How could God reject this cry of a mother, He, who, at the request of His own Mother, performed His first miracle at Cana? Her children's courage brought about a favorable change in their financial situation.
In this way painfully passed the last years of Conchita's life. After her last son's marriage, she noted sorrowfully in her
Diary' "Now all is over for me. God gave me nine children. He has taken away all nine. May He be blessed! Two religious, the others dead or married, all, one after another have been snatched from my maternal heart. Ten beds, including that of my husband, are now empty and here I am now alone. Yet no, not alone, I have Christ who
does not die, who does not part from me, and who will never abandon me.
"A mother, when her children get married, provides merely supplementary affection, but their mother is happy to make the sacrifice, her solitude. She rejoices in her children's happiness" (Diary, Sept. 24, 1929).
Conchita will never forget her husband. Year after year, on September 17, her Diary marks most faithfully the anniversary of his death.
"Here it is now three years ago since my husband died and my children have been without their earthly father. What sad memories! Lord, may Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven! My children have gone to visit his tomb. I cannot go because my foot hurts. My heart struggles constantly. Truly, and literally, I water with my tears the bread I eat, the ground and my Crucifix! Oh my Jesus! What You wish, that I wish too... I feel so awfully alone. Oh Mary, my Mother, have pity on me" (Diary, Sept. 17, 1904).
"Twenty years a widow! Lord, preserve and increase the glory of my earthly spouse who was so good to me and who never hindered me from loving You. Fill with Yourself this father of my children, a model of a father, of a gentleman, of a man of honor and of a Christian" (Diary, Sept. 17, 1921).
"l have now been a widow for thirty-one years. Jesus took away my cherished husband whom He had given me on earth. Lord, increase his glory and go and greet him for me. Is it not so? You will surely do this for me, You who so kindly do things for me! There above, in heaven, with him are four of my children, Carlos, Pedro, Pablo, Concha. Oh Jesus, blessed may You be" (Diary, Sept. 17, 19~2).
Thus Conchita lived on earth, ever faithful to her husband, her children and God.
The solitude of the soul surpasses the solitude of the heart. This solitude of the soul attains frightful proportions which make it more and more like to the innermost suffering of the Heart of the Christ and to His abandonment on the Cross, in the course of the last twenty years of her life. It was then that Conchita knew by revelation the immense merits of the
solitude of the Mother of God, after the Ascension of Her Son, in the service of the Church militant (1917). It was then, too, that she received the
Confidences of Christ about the grandeur and misery of the Priesthood (1927-1932). Finally, it was then that she brought together the supreme illuminations on the
consummation of the whole universe in the Unity of the Trinity.