A Mother's Spiritual Diary

Her favorite Mystery:
The Presentation of Jesus
in the Temple

Nothing is more revealing of the hidden interior of a spiritual person than to penetrate his experience and put yourself in his personal perspective. His peculiar grace appears clearly in his special attitude before the mysteries of the life of Christ and of Mary.

One would think at first, since the mystical incarnation is Conchita's central grace, that the mystery of the Incarnation would be the center of her Marian contemplation. But no, her favorite mystery is another: the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.

She recognized in this privileged mystery the fundamental attitude of the mystical and of the offering of love, the quintessence of the teachings of the Cross: the oblation of the Word to His Father and the total offering of self out of love in union with Christ, but through Mary's hands.

February 3, 1907, the Lord told Conchita: "The mystery which is being celebrated today concretizes your mission: the constant offering in your heart of the Victim that it be immolated on behalf of the world. The sorrow that comes about is a holy sorrow, sublime, chosen and most pure, since the creature does not undergo it seeking itself, but suffers solely on account of My suffering. Here you have the perfection of sorrow and of love…"

"I must be offered by you, at every moment, as a victim on behalf of men; and you, united with the great Victim with all His perfections. I want you to offer yourself as did Mary, with her very virtues and qualities. Imitate her and model your own heart on this so beautiful an image" (Diary, Feb. 2, 1907).

Throughout her Diary, there is mention of this mystery: "Feb. 2, 1922, the Presentation: it is my day. How often on meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, when this mystery comes up, I have wept in sorrow and in love."

It is of interest to observe that the great liturgical reform prescribed by Vatican II, substituted the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple in place of the feast of the Purification of Mary. In full accord with traditions of the Eastern Church, the Code of Rubrics in 1960 established that this feast must be regarded as a feast of the Lord. This feast known as Candlemass is not only the feast of Light, symbolized by lighted candles in memory of Christ, Light of nations, but the candles also symbolize the oblation of the Incarnate Word consumed, as the candles, before God, represent the offering of Himself to His Father for His glory and for the salvation of men. Pope Paul VI wants to celebrate this rite himself. He stresses the profound and new meaning of this liturgical ceremony: the Oblation of the Word and His Mystical Body, through Mary, Mother of our Church and of all the People of God.