A Mother's Spiritual Diary

Pastoral riches of this new devotion

Let us point out three main aspects: 

1) The solitude of the Mother of God sheds much light on the participation of the Church in the mystery of Christ's Cross.

Two diverse aspects must be distinguished in Mary's association with Christ in the work of our salvation: the phase of acquisition and the phase of application.

The first appears at the moment of Christ's virginal conception and reaches its summit at the foot of the Cross where she stood in keeping with the divine plan (Lumen Gentium #58; cf. Jn 19:25).

This aspect is proper, unique, personal to Mary, for it is founded on her divine Maternity and her spiritual Maternity for all men.

The glorification of Christ inaugurates the phase of application. The effusion of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost brings about in Mary a new fullness of love in view of her mission as Mother of the Church. Mary already symbolizes the Church in the mysterious Woman of Revelation "because she was with child, she wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth" (Rv. 12:2).

The profound reason for the existence of the Church, throughout its pilgrimage on earth, is to continue the Work of Redemption which Christ achieved, once for all, on the Cross. In imitation of Mary, the Church will continue the passion of its divine Master in its martyrs, saints, in all its members, even the most imperfect, provided they truly love Christ.

Co-redemption is of capital importance in Christian life. One cannot truly love Christ without feeling the desire to participate with Him for the salvation of the world.

2) The solitude of the Mother of God helps understand the value of human suffering for the salvation of the world, when it is joined to Christ's suffering.

Sorrow of itself has no value. It is a consequence and a fruit of sin. But love has the prodigious power to convert it into the price of redemption. The most fertile apostolate is the apostolate of the Cross.

Further, participation in the Cross of Christ is not only personal purification and expiation. It is, above all, a call to collaborate in the salvation of the world. The more suffering is innocent and pure, the more it is capable of saving men and of glorifying God.

Only the saints who have undergone dark nights of purification and who have arrived at transforming union fully participate as Mary in her co-redemptive and apostolic solitude, in the mystery of the Cross.

3) Mary in her solitude is a model for outwardly useless lives. They will find, on imitating her, the fullness of their Christian achievement.

At a period when old age poses for the Church a new problem of pastoral ministry, this new form of devotion to Mary brings a solution to the apparent uselessness and to the discouragement of these human lives about which younger or fully mature persons are unconcerned. It will give courage and spirit to so many valiant Christians, whose last days must bring them ever closer to God than to men.

There is also an analogous problem for all men and women in that their living conditions do not have an appearance of external apostolic activity. For all such as they, the life of solitude of the Mother of God sheds light on the profound law of the communion of saints.

Pure love is of far greater apostolic fecundity than the most outstanding works accomplished with less than love. It is at the eve of life, in silence and isolation, in prayer and in sacrifice, that God's Mother attains her maximum of love and her fullness of apostolic fecundity in the service of the Church of Christ, just as Christ Himself did not save the world in the luster of His Word and of His miracles, but on the Cross.

The Lord said to Conchita, "I do not believe that to know Mary's solitude, her sufferings because of My absence and her bitter sorrows as a Mother, will bring sadness to man. What is expressed by roses, and the fruits of her tears, will remain. But gratitude will be aroused, when it is recalled that from so many sufferings the crowns worn by their children in heaven have been purchased" (Diary, July 4, 1917).

Devotion to Mary's solitude is then devotion to the Virgin of Pentecost, to Mary, Mother of the Church.