It was a stroke of genius, or rather a divine inspiration, that Vatican II had the mystery of Mary pass from the devotional level to the dogmatic level of the history of salvation, which cannot be disassociated from the mystery of Christ and of His Church. The central place of the Mother of Jesus in the Work of Redemption appears clearly on Calvary, when Christ pronounced these creative words: "Behold your
Mother." All Christian generations and all peoples have acknowledged her as their mother.
Mexico, in particular, after the celebrated and miraculous apparitions of the Mother of God to the poor Indian Juan Diego, venerates her with an exceptional fervor as Mother of the Nation. One must have visited the Basilica of Our Lady to understand the filial, extraordinary devotion to the Virgin of the hill of Tepeyac: Our
Lady of Guadalupe. How many pilgrims arrive there exhausted! They come from all over America. In the hardest trials of their lives every Mexican loves to hear addressed to him Mary's words to the poor Indian, her child: "Am I not here, I who am your Mother?"
Conchita, Daughter of Mexico, whose spirit was strongly marked by the characteristic Marianism of her country, shows us Our Lady of Guadalupe ever present in her life.
Often, alone or with her husband and her family, she went to the Marian sanctuary there "to empty her heart," as a child with its mother (Diary, March 24, 1894).
Her Diary shows her having constant recourse to Mary in her joys and sorrows down to the last days of her life. Filial devotion to the Mother of God is deeply rooted in the Mexican heart.
The Works of the Cross came to light under the maternal protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her name was found in the poor chapel of the first Oasis of the Contemplatives of the Cross. The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit were founded in the Chapel of Roses, the site of the last apparition of the Mother of God. And the very day of the Pontifical coronation of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the symbol of the Works of the Cross, the Cross of the Apostolate, rose on the summit of Tepeyac, dominating, from that moment on, the whole city of Mexico.
Conchita's whole spiritual life is enveloped in her love for the Mother of God. In her Diary she writes her memories of her early years: "The Lord granted me feelings full of tenderness toward the Holy Virgin. During my walks along the paths, I kept silence and loved to repeat, on thinking of what I was saying, prayers to this blessed Virgin. It is a devotion my good mother taught me at her knee" (Aut. 30).
True devotion to Mary is a consecration and an offering. From the earliest pages of her Diary she wrote: "Mary, my dearest and tenderest Mother, today I consecrate myself to you in a very special way ever to serve you… This devotion is above all, imitation of her virtues. Jesus told me: 'the holiest and most perfect creature that ever existed was Mary. Do you know why? Because from the first instant of her being, she corresponded with all the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. Mary is the best teacher of the spiritual life'" (Diary, Sept. 22, 1895).
Her Marian Horizon
Conchita's piety is essentially dogmatic. She loves to contemplate the Mother of Jesus in the eternal plan of God and in her historical development through the principal mysteries of salvation. Her outlook of faith shows her already in her eternal pre-existence in the mind of the Trinity. The Lord explained to Conchita this mystery thus: "For you, there exists but the present moment; for God all is pre-existent. Mary already existed, the joy of the whole Trinity which had formed her in Its Thought. She already constituted Its delights. Mary was already the Queen of Heaven.
"She was beautiful with the beauty of God. She was a virgin of the fertile virginity of the Trinity, a creature without the least stain and all perfect, a soul preserved already, from the time of being in the bosom of the Father, called never to be soiled nor even in the slightest way touched by the least shadow of sin. Already from this eternity, she was Daughter, Spouse and Mother, the Three Divine Persons finding Their pleasure in this perfect work which must be marveled at by heaven and earth throughout all ages. What grandeur in Mary, in the multitude of her perfections, but above all in this work of virginal incarnation of the Word, prepared for, from all eternity.
"The Trinity loved passionately this incomparable creature, and that is why the Word became flesh. He prepared her with all graced and favors of the Holy Spirit, with the prodigality of a God, coming to make of her His living temple" (Diary, July 23, 1906).
This mystery of the Incarnation of the Word and of the divine maternity is the center of all of Conchita's Marian reflections.
After the Incarnation, it is the mystery of Golgotha which is her major consideration. The Lord explained it very clearly to her: "It was there, at the foot of the Cross, that Mary saw My Church born, that she accepted in her heart in the person of St. John all the priests in place of Me, and further, to be the Mother of all mankind" (Diary, April 8, 1928).
Mary's participation in our redemption through the Cross was one of the familiar themes of Conchita's contemplation: "I have better understood the inexpressible pains felt in the purest Heart of Mary, the sole creature who read and understood the interior sorrows, the sufferings of Her Divine Son, just as she was the only one to be able to measure His pains, to grasp His purity and His innocence, to bear, too, the infinite weight of human ingratitude which crushed Him. Without being culpable, she lived an existence of suffering in union with Her most holy Jesus and obtained graces for culpable sinners. Once Mary had consented to the Incarnation of the Word, never was the divine plan erased from her spirit. Her mother's heart, broken, contemplated the Innocent and Divine Martyr.
"The life of this Virgin-Mother was, after that of Jesus, the most crucified. Her constant meditation of the future ever kept in her soul town while in her little home in Nazareth. Who could have dreamed on seeing these two pure beings living the very same kind of life, that actually they bore within them the cruelest martyrdom for the sake of mankind! Yes, Mary held an immense place in the Redemption of man. How great May is and how much we owe her" (Diary, Sept. 1, 1898).
"Mary penetrated by all the mysteries, holds an important role in the activity of the Church, imploring pardon and obtaining graces for her" (Diary, Oct. 6,1927).
Conchita admires in Mary, "the creature closest to God since she is the purest and ever lived or will live on earth… In her, not the least stain coming to tarnish the supreme purity of her soul full of grace. Never did she lose a single one, ever disposed to collaborate, especially at the hour of humiliation and suffering" (Diary, Aug. 29, 1898).
Vatican II deemed it proper to mark out clearly Mary's place in the divine plan, within the Church but at its summit. "Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all other creatures, both in heaven and on earth" (Lumen Gentium #53); "a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and yet very close to
us" (ibid #54). The Lord liked to tell Conchita about His Mother's divine grandeur: "After the Trinity and with My glorious humanity, Mary is the noblest creature who exists and can exist in heaven, for God Himself, even though divine, cannot bring about anything more worthy, more perfect and more beautiful since she bears in her being the reflection of all the perfections God can communicate to the creature. That is why Mary's glory in heaven surpasses that of all the angels and of all the saints" (Diary, Aug. 1906).
"She belongs to the Church militant… She is now the depositary of the treasures of the Church, just as She was on earth of the Incarnate Word, source of all these treasures" (Diary, Feb. 27, 1917).
Thus Conchita's Marian concept coincides with the horizons of Vatican II. She sees Mary in the unrolling of the divine plan. Paul VI correctly noted that never had the Church contemplated Mary
in the heart of the ecclesial mystery in so vast and powerful a synthesis (Discourse at the closing, Nov. 21, 1964). This wise view sets her entire mystery of its summits. Her is the beacon that illuminates and will direct all the advances of Marian doctrine in the future.