The Church, the universal sacrament of salvation, is the fulfillment of the salvific design of the Father's love. The Father has willed to bring together all men in His Son by virtue of His sacrifice carried once for all. Christ loved His Church and delivered Himself up for Her to give us His Spirit.
Conchita's spiritual doctrine on the Church reflects a progress made which finds its climax in her message of holiness for the renewal of the entire People of God, thanks to a
In a period when piety had an eminently individualistic character, and which did not seem to be aware of the dimension of the Church, it is admirable to record how God manifested to Conchita this essential and constituent aspect of the ecclesial mystery and how from the beginning of her spiritual life this thought opened up to her boundless horizons.
Mission to Save Souls
"The first spiritual exercises I made were given by Father Antonio Plancarte, in 1889.
"I took part in them only during the day for I could not leave my children alone.
"One day, as if come down from heaven, when I was readying myself with all my soul for all the Lord would wish from me, I heard clearly in the depths of my soul, without any possible doubt: 'Your mission will be to save
souls' " (Aut., 1, 51).
These first words of the Lord give us the key for understanding the meaning of Conchita's life: she will be wholly consecrated to the Church.
Jesus, Savior of Men
There are some decisive moments which definitely transform a life. The initials which Conchita engraved on her bosom on January 14, 1894 oriented her toward the salvation of the world through the Cross. The importance of this fact is not only found in the heroic act a woman carried out as an expression of her love for Christ, but in what God operated in her as a response: an interchange of love which communicated to her a New Love, the sharing on His own salvific love which thus presented the seed of the Works of the Cross.
She wrote: "A supernatural force tossed me to the ground. Forgetting the joy which possessed me, I thought only of the salvation of men. My soul burned with zeal for the salvation of souls, and with a fire which was not my own, I repeated:
"Jesus, Savior of men, save them, save them!" (Aut., 2, 33; Letters, 10, 18, 56).
The entire Work and whole doctrine of the Cross are born of this vital experience of the innermost and most substantial reality of the mystery of the Church: the association with the Redemption of men brought about by Christ.
Conchita learned about the Church through the Cross. "While I was saying various prayers, the Lord gave me the grace to understand the innermost relationships that exist between the Church and the Cross, though without the Cross, there would be no Church. He told me that the Church was born of the Cross. The Holy Spirit came afterwards to confirm its teachings and give it life" (Diary, May 28, 1898).
The first revelation of the mystery of the Church, is that it is the Church of the Crucified, and this entails a call to a commitment.
"The Lord told me many a time: 'Sacrifice yourself for the Church. My Church is what I love most and she it is who caused Me to suffer most. In truth, I live crucified in her.' (I realized He was alluding to evil priests and to ministers who do not seek the interests of Jesus Christ, but their own interests, coupled with numerous laxities and culpable behavior). 'I want you to be a victim on behalf of the Church. You do not know the value of that. Do not resist. It is a gift I want to give you. Souls sacrificing themselves as victims for the Church, receive a special recompense'" (Diary, May 28, 1898).
"Souls who are victims for the Church must unite themselves to My Heart, the supreme Victim, to offer themselves to the eternal Father on behalf of this so beloved Church, in order to expiate sins. I love My Church so much that in union with My Heart I seek victims who immolate themselves in order that the just wrath which menaces her be assuaged and changed into a shower of graces
"I want, more than external martyrdom, interior martyrdom of the heart. That is why I want them to unite themselves to My Heart which is broken more than any other. I want to obtain this glory for My Father, and the Holy Spirit will ever bless the victim souls who united themselves to Me" (Diary, June 14, 1898).
The expressions victim and victim souls, in Conchita's usage, is found wholly without any doleful sense, without a certain emotional egocentric emphasis which might be counter to its import and lead to a pitiable caricature, to a psychological complex of a masochistic tone.
The doctrine of the Cross is solidly founded on a spirituality of giving which springs from its very self, imitation of and conformity with Christ who came "to give His own life as a ransom for the many" (Mt. 20:28). It is ruled by the demands of the Redemption. Whence the Trinitarian perspective which appears all of a sudden and unexpectedly.
The Church of the Trinity
"The Church is the deposit of all the graces of the Holy Spirit. In her, He has set up His dwelling place. He loves her with an unbelievable love. No one enters heaven save through the Church. The Holy Spirit imprints His mark on all her ceremonies… Apart from this divine stamp, there is neither any attainment of nor even possibility of salvation. From out of the Church there rises constant praise to the Most Holy Trinity. The eternal Father fixes His gaze entirely on her while the Son is there with His holy humanity united to His divinity and perpetuates within her His sacrifice through the Eucharist.
"How beautiful is this harmonious unity, this blessed Trinity in its divine communications with the Church! Therein I see, now, the immense love shown by God toward His creature in so admirable a way! I admit it, I had never understood it so clearly; nor had I ever thanked God for this uninterrupted chain of benefits which from Baptist to our burial, this holy Church distributes to us. What account will I have to render to the Lord for so many graces and so many means of sanctification which His eternal bounty has set aside for us in His Church" (Diary, May 28, 1898).
This Trinitarian perspective is then far from a horizontal view of the Church in her structures and in her multiple activities among men. It is a perspective from above, a very sublime and wise view of the Church in the light of the Trinity. Furthermore, it opens up with a prime global synthesis. The Church is at one and the same time the Church of the Cross, the Church of the Trinity.