The most original aspect of Conchita, in this contemplation, was to comprehend, in the light of the Holy Spirit, the profound association of Mary to the redemptive work of Her Son during the last years of His earthly life.
Vatican II affirms that "This tradition which comes from the apostles, develops in the Church, with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts (cf. Lk 2:19, 51), through the intimate understanding of spiritual things they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession, the sure gift of truth (Dei Verbum, #8). The mystical experience of spiritual persons is a pathway for the explanation of the faith.
The new aspect of Marian doctrine according to the spirituality of the Cross, is in imitation of the
solitude of the Mother of God throughout the last years of her earthly existence, at the moment when her spiritual life had attained its maximum of love, which permitted her to obtain, through an interior martyrdom, up to then but little studied, the application to the Church of all the graces merited by Christ, necessary for the Church as an institution and to each of her members until the end of the world.
The word "soledad" is difficult to translate. It signifies at the same time "solitude," "isolation," and silent martyrdom in pure faith, in the apparent absence of God and of her Son now in heaven, in an incommensurable sum of offerings, to the ever increasing measure of the fullness of her immense love.
"I must imitate Mary in Her Solitude"
After 1917, throughout the last twenty years of her life, through divine inspiration, there is seen developed in Conchita a new form of Marian devotion: imitation of the
solitude of the Mother of God in the evening of her life, at the moment when the life of love of the Mother of Jesus attained its height and its plenitude, which were of benefit to the ancient Church, to the pilgrim Church and to the Church militant, until the end of time.
"God wants me to be alone. For me at this moment, it is the hour of solitude: to be in Mary's company, to imitate Mary in her
solitude during the last days of her life" (Diary, Feb. 14, 1917).
"Let Mary be your model"
"In my spiritual life in souls, My Mother was never separated from Me, that is, the imitation of both of our lives must be simultaneous on earth; Mary's life was modeled on Mine. Thus, just as I was the Redeemer, she was the co-redeemer. The souls who love her most and who are most like to her, are the souls who are most like to Me most perfectly. You must imitate her in the practice of virtues, I always told you, especially in her humility and her purity of heart. Observe the virtues she practiced in her
solitude, in the last stage of her life, her outlook, and her soul wholly turned toward heaven, and her self effacement, glorifying Me on earth. Through her ardent desire for heaven, that is, through her passionate love, aspiring for paradise, she merited graces from heaven for the nascent Church" (Diary, Feb. 18, 1917).
"A new phase of your life has begun"
"Each time that Mary, My most holy Mother, because of My absence, felt sad in any way, actually she always missed Me, she immediately offered it up to the Father for salvation of the world and for the nascent Church. This apostolate of suffering, which is the apostolate of the Cross in Mary during this period of
solitude, was most fecund and determined heaven to shower down torrents of graces.
"And likewise for you, you have begun a new phase of life which will be a reflection of that of Mary. It will appertain to you to imitate her without losing any suffering, which united to Mine will be of worth. Under this form, supernaturalize all your sorrows of
solitude that they may become fertile for the benefit of your other children" (Diary, March 21, 1917).
Solitude is participation in the inmost Passion of Christ's Cross and a consequence of the mystical incarnation.
"I have granted certain souls the grace to be assimilated to Me through the external stigmata of My wounds, but to My Mother I gave My perfect likeness in her interior, after My Passion, with all My sufferings, My wounds, and the pains My Heart underwent.
"It is in this aspect that you will imitate her: her image will be imprinted on your soul, but a sorrowful one. This is the phase the soul reaches after the mystical incarnation, and in that phase you find yourself. You will taste the bitterness of Mary, not only accompanying or keeping company with her in her
solitude, but experiencing in your heart the echo of her sorrows, the reflection of her tears shed for the same redemptive and glorifying purpose: the salvation of souls" (Diary, June 11, 1917).
On June 29, 1917 she receives a great illumination. Mary is in the heart of the Church and she bears the entire Church in her maternal Heart. At the foot of the Cross she was constituted the spiritual Mother of mankind, and the effusion of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost produced in her a new fullness of grace in view of the accomplishment of her maternal mission: in faith, in absolute self-surrender to the divine designs, in her ardent love, in her humble obedience, impelling her to continue on the work of her Son: "In her own flesh, it fills up what is lacking in the suffering of Christ" (Col. 1:24). Mary, Mother of the Church engendered all her children for God, through the sorrows born out of her love.
But this is a secret of Mary:
"Her Heart is presented with roses, but underneath are found thorns. The roses signify graces for her children, acquired with almost infinite sorrows, with tears and with martyrdoms the weight of which I alone was capable of measuring. It is quite natural for a mother, and so much the more Mary, to keep for herself the thorns and the sorrows: it is the roses and the tenderness that she presents to her children, not the sacrifices" (Diary, June 30, 1917).
Mary's last years were the most fertile
"For these last years, destined for the reign of the Holy Spirit and the final triumph of the Church, was reserved the veneration of the martyrdom of Mary's
solitude, His most beloved Spouse. During this martyrdom, only the might and force of this Spirit of God could keep her alive. Mary lived, it might be said, miraculously and solely to merit the graces requisite for her maternity on behalf of mankind. She lived to give her testimony about Me in My humanity, as the Holy Spirit testified about My Divinity. She lived to be in some way the visible instrument of the Holy Spirit in the nascent Church, while the Holy Spirit acted on the divine and wholly spiritual plane. She lived to provide its first nourishment for this unique and true Church, and to merit in heaven the titles of Consoler, Advocate, Refuge of her children.
"This phase of Mary's life, constituting for her Heart a source of bitterness, the quintessence of martyrdom, the purification of her love at the same time an inexhaustible source of grace and mercy of the world, has remained unknown.
"At the foot of the Cross, all her children were born. My death gave them life in the heart of My Mother. But before her death She had to manifest this maternity on earth, gaining, by the sufferings of My absence, an infinitude of graces present and future for her children. Her title of Mother of mankind, Mary won by the martyrdom of her
solitude after My death. Has the world been aware of this? Does it appreciate it and is it grateful for it? The time has come when the children should show they are real children, showing their veneration for this heart broken by this subtle and most painful martyrdom, lived through for the sake of their own happiness. There, Mary gained graces for each and every man. It is time for her to be thanked" (Diary, June 30, 1917).
One of the sources of suffering in Mary's solitude was the absence of Jesus. This sorrow is not an egotistical one but a most pure sorrow which sprang from the ardent charity which leads to the possession of God. St. John of the Cross speaks of this love in the first stanza of
The Living Flame of Love. If this is true in the souls of poor sinners who have been transformed by divine charity, what can we not say of the charity of the Immaculate Mother of God?
This crowning phase of Mary's life is the perfect fulfillment of her existence ever abandoned to the will of God as "the humble servant of the Lord."
The virtues and sufferings of Mary have remained hidden
"Just as Mary's virtues remained hidden due to her humility, for example on the occasion of the Purification, since she herself did not make them known, so her sufferings remained veiled. There was neither complain nor recrimination. She accepted them all, welcoming them all without losing a single one, loving them, adoring in them the will of God which was her life. This adherence to My adorable will which she practiced after My Ascension was particularly inmost, throughout her life of nameless sufferings, during the martyrdom of My absence and among the crucifixions of her
solitude. An adherence, a most elevated and most close union of our wills, of My wishes in her martyrdoms, a submission and a perfect conformity to My desires to immolate her, such was then the manner of Mary's life. Such was her sublime most holy and divine adherence which maintained her, absorbed in My will which led her by paths of humiliation, of suffering, of heartbreak
in love itself. It is not possible to appreciate in Mary her title of Queen of Martyrs, since man remains very far from comprehending her love.
"You, as a reflection of her life and of her sufferings, you should imitate her in this adherence to My will which breaks your heart and pierces it' (Diary, July 2, 1917).
To the measure that Conchita progresses in this imitation of the solitude of Mary in her own life, she penetrates deeper and deeper into the profundity of this mystery. Mary's maternity is a committed maternity. Mary unites herself in faith and in love to the profound interior of the Word who is made flesh to glorify the Father in the salvation of men. Mary's association with the Redemption of the world is not a new privilege coming about to join her to her divine maternity, but is simply a function which this same maternity exercises in a full existential achievement.
Mary is co-redemptrix, Mother of the Redemption, since she is the Mother of Jesus, Mother of Yahweh who saves.
Mary's solitude is the most perfect association with the redemptive act of Christ. The drama of our salvation is decided at the very moment when Jesus was abandoned mysteriously by His Father, and when He Himself abandoned Himself, in response, with confidence and love, into His hands. It is the consent of a man in supreme agony.
"You had for long pondered the first solitude of Mary, that is, the exterior solitude, but you had not thought about the cruelest and the bitterest, the interior
solitude which tore her to pieces and in which her spirit felt an agony on account of being abandoned.
"The martyrdom of Mary after My Ascension was not caused solely by My material absence. She suffered terrible tests of abandonment like to that I Myself underwent on the Cross. My Father united her to Mine which gained so many graces.
"As co-redemptrix, Mary heard in her soul so wholly pure the echo of all My agonies, humiliations, outrages and tortures, felt the weight of the sins of the world which made My Heart bleed, and the moving sorrow of the abandonment of heaven which obtains graces.
"You are to be a faithful echo of this Mother of Sorrows. You must experience the pure abandonment, My own abandonment, this desertion which through purification acquires graces.
"It is evident that Mary had nothing to be purified in herself but only in mankind, that is in her children, conquering by this sorrow a new crown, that of Mother-Martyr.
"Thus it is that she suffered for her children, that she gave them the supernatural life of grace, that she obtained heaven for them" (Diary, June 22, 1918).
Mary is truly the Mother of men, her spiritual maternity is a committed maternity. She, the Immaculate, offers for the sin of her children.
"The Heart of Mary obtained these graces in the martyrdom of a solitude in which she was left, not by men (she had St. John and the Apostles and many souls who fervently loved her), not by Me in My Body (she consoled herself with the Eucharist and with her living and perfect faith), but by the Trinity, which hid itself from her, leaving her in a spiritual and divine abandonment.
"Mary suffered more than all abandoned souls, since she suffered a reflection of My own abandonment on the Cross, one the worth of which cannot be estimated and which is wholly inexpressible.
"This abandonment of Mary, this vivid and palpitating martyrdom of her solitude, the desolating martyrdom of divine abandonment, which she suffered heroically with loving resignation and sublime surrender to My will, is not honored.
"Imitate her in your littleness, in your poor capabilities strive with all the strength of your heart: you must do it in order to obtain graces and to purify yourself.
"It is a great honor for souls when the Father calls them to associate them with Redemption; with the co-redemption uniting them with Me and Mary; with the apostolate of the Cross, that is, with that of innocent suffering, of sorrow full of love and pure, expiatory and salvific sorrow on behalf of the culpable world" (Diary, June 23, 1918).
Having arrived at the end of her existence, Conchita writes in her Diary: "Mother of Sorrows whom I love so much, teach me to suffer as You suffered and to love Jesus as You loved Him in your awful
solitude" (Oct. 13, 1936). "I promise Him with all my heart to abandon myself in the God who abandons me" (Oct. 6, 1936). "Virgin Mary, be my strength teaching me the Perfect Joy of the Calvary of your frightful
solitude in every moment of life still remaining me. Obtain for me the theological virtues more and more living and let me not die without having carried out the divine designs on earth. Only for Him, for the glory of His Beloved Father" (Oct. 20, 1936).
The imitation of Mary's solitude was the consummation of Conchita's spiritual life in the last years of her life.
This new aspect of Marian doctrine according to the spirituality of the Cross is of an incomparable theological depth.
The whole mystery of Mary unfolds in time. Her association with the redemptive Work of Christ is not confined solely to her presence at the foot of the Cross where "she united herself with a maternal heart to His sacrifice, and lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth" (Lumen Gentium #58). She continued growing in the measure of her love until the end of her earthly life, coming to the consummation of the fullness of grace which brings about in Mary, in conformity with God's design, her glorification and especially her Assumption into heaven.
The solitude of the Mother of God is the supreme configuration to Christ Crucified. Her spiritual maternity is amplified therein by the salvific suffering which springs from love and charity reaching their peak. Thence comes the perfect joy which flows from the Cross of Christ, and which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.