“Conchita, Part 2: The Cross will be Loved Through the Reign of the Holy Spirit”
Fr. Ignatius John Schweitzer, OP
Make the Cross Loved Through the Reign of the Holy Spirit
The Lord would say to Conchita, “Make the Cross loved through the reign of the Holy Spirit” (MSD, 146; cf 164-5). There’s a lot contained in these few words. We saw in the first conference that Conchita’s primary way of thinking about God is God as Love. Yet it is precisely God, the Son, who poured himself out completely on the Cross who most manifested God’s love. It’s a crucified Love that draws her throughout her life. It’s a strong love. So these words, “Make the Cross loved through the reign of the Holy Spirit” means make this God loved, who died out of love for us on the Cross. The Holy Spirit must bring about this recognition of the God who is love as manifested on the Cross. No one can say Jesus Christ is Lord except by the Holy Spirit, especially as Jesus reigns as Lord on the Cross.
But who God is, also marks what our spiritual life will be like. So “make the Cross loved through the reign of the Holy Spirit” also means make people love the Cross they have to bear in their lives, in imitation of our crucified Savior. Again it’s only the Holy Spirit who can bring this about. On our own, we tend to flee the Cross. We hardly want to embrace the Cross. Yet the reign of the Holy Spirit will bring about a love for the Cross. Like God’s own strong love shown on the Cross, we must have a strong love. We begin with a tender and delicate love for God but eventually it must become a robust and strong love. We begin as a tender shoot but we are to become a hardy oak tree. Yet even the mighty oak still puts forth fresh and tender shoots. “Amor and Dolor,” Conchita would say, love and suffering.
“Make the Cross loved through the reign of the Holy Spirit.” This rich phrase captures a lot of Conchita’s spirituality. Consider the religious institute she helped found. It is called “Works of the Cross,” seeking to extend the work of the Cross into every time and place. And consider one of the branches of this religious institute. It is called “Missionaries of the Holy Spirit,” seeking to extend the reign of the Holy Spirit into every time and place. So the reign of the Holy Spirit and the reign of the Cross were central to Conchita’s spiritual mission as seen in the very congregations she founded.
So, in this conference we’ll look at four aspects of Conchita’s spirituality on how we share in the Cross of Jesus. She claims our share in the Cross becomes not only bearable but even sweet. And this in 4 ways. First, by the work of the Holy Spirit, union with Jesus, and for the glory of the Father. Second, by the support of the Eucharist and holy sacrifice of the Mass. Third, with our Blessed Mother by our side. And fourth, as it all culminates in our deeper share in the life of the Trinity. So that’s what we’ll do in this conference.
#1. Our share in the Cross through Father, Son, and Spirit
First, let’s see how we share in the Cross by the work of the Holy Spirit, union with Jesus, and for the glory of the Father. The Lord says to Conchita as she recounts it, “‘It is time that the Holy Spirit reign.’ Very moved, the Lord told me this. He went on, ‘and not a remote reign as something very sublime, even though it be so and there is nothing greater than He, since He is God…But it is necessary that He reign, here, right close, in each soul and in each heart, in all the structures of My Church. The day on which there will flow in each pastor, in each priest, like an inner blood, the Holy Spirit, then will be renewed the theological virtues [faith, hope, and love], now languishing…Let the ministers of My Church react, through the medium of the Holy Spirit, and the whole world of souls will be divinized. He is the axis around which revolves the virtues” (MSD 164).
This of course is a call not just to priests but to each of us. Then renewal will take place in the whole Church. The Lord continues speaking to Conchita, “May the Holy Spirit reign in souls, and the Word will be known and honored, the Cross taking on a new force in the souls spiritualized by divine Love. To the extent the Holy Spirit will reign, sensuality, which today invades the earth, will disappear. The Cross will never take root unless beforehand the soil is made ready by the Holy Spirit.” (UGF 165)
Isn’t this a message needed for our own time? How is the Church to go forward in our world today? By going to the Cross and by renewal by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit can renew us from within and change our desires to want to embrace the Cross God is calling us to. It will still be difficult yet the Holy Spirit empowers us as he transforms us into the image of Christ.
In the first conference we considered the mystical incarnation in Conchita’s life. Here is a good description of that grace in her own words, “The Word made flesh takes intimate possession of the heart of the creature, as if taking life from it because of the transforming union, even though He is always giving life to it, that life of assimilating grace, especially through immolation. Jesus becomes incarnate, is born, grows and lives in the soul, not in the material sense, but through sanctifying, unitive and transforming grace. The mystical incarnation is basically a very powerful transforming grace which simplifies and unites, by means of purity and immolation in union with Jesus, which makes the soul and the whole creature, as far as possible, similar to Him” (UGF, xxi).
So we see here from Conchita that growing in this grace of the mystical incarnation involves self-denial and mortification. She says the soul feels at first like life is being taken from it but it is actually because Jesus’ own life is taking over in the soul, and the soul is not yet adapted to it. She also stresses immolation in union with Jesus. Immolation involves offering ourselves in sacrifice with Jesus. It’s similar to what we find 2 Cor 4:10 about “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” And very much like St Paul, where, for Conchita, does this mystical incarnation lead? It leads us to be like Jesus even to his self-offering on the Cross for the salvation of souls and the glory of the Father. Mystical incarnation leads to sacrifice, which leads to fruitfulness (UGF 68-72).
Conchita recognized that on her own she could not do this. “By herself she could do nothing, but having Jesus, she had everything. Jesus in her would do [it], thus quenching His thirst to save souls” (UGF xxviii). Conchita recognizes her weaknesses, saying, “Because of my weakness and misery, humiliation is painful, obedience is heavy, recollection is sad, temptation is intolerable, suffering is disturbing, and any cross is tiresome. I am afraid to forego my desires. Any kind of denial frightens me, but O my Jesus, I will be able to do all in union with You. Take away my coldness and give me the gift of prayer to listen to Your voice that encourages me to give of myself for love of You.” (I AM, 20)
The Saints struggled like we do. But they were persistent in turning to the Lord in prayer, and he overcame their shortcomings with his power. It’s important to remember these words of Conchita when she speaks elsewhere of her great joy in suffering and desiring it. It’s only through grace and prayer that she overcome this aversion to the Cross and longed to be with the Lord Jesus on the Cross. Conchita says, “The Lord told me: ‘The world is buried in sensuality, no longer is sacrifice loved and no longer is its sweetness known. I wish the Cross to reign, today it is presented to the world with My Heart, so that it may bring souls to make sacrifices. No true love is without sacrifice. It is only in My crucified Heart that the ineffable sweetness of My Heart can be tasted. Seen from the outside, the Cross is bitter and harsh, but as soon as it is tasted, penetrating and savoring it, there is no greater pleasure. Therein is the repose of the souls, the soul inebriated by love, therein its delight, its life’” (Auto. 1, 216-218). How does it happen practically that suffering can become sweet? The Saints and mystics are unanimous. Somehow the mystery of prayer brings it about. Pray, and pray some more, and you will find out.
Like Jesus, and with Jesus, Conchita offered herself for the salvation of souls and the glory of the Father. And this helped bring joy into her suffering on the Cross with Jesus. The Lord tells Conchita that his suffering on earth was sweetened not only by enduring it for the salvation of souls but also doing it for the glory of the Father (UGF 41). And the Lord insists, it’s not just sufferings, but also “joys, satisfactions and consolations” and all her actions that should be focused on giving the Father glory. The Lord says, “You will discover in this new period of your spiritual life a new nuance of special love with which all works get perfumed, wafting to heaven the divine fragrance, that of your Jesus, who glorifies His Father in you.” This is “the crowning of the mystical incarnation” (UGF, 72, 3)
Conchita responds that she will take the glory of the Father to be like a divine Lighthouse directing all her ways. She will direct all her activities at this Lighthouse, aiming always for the glory of the Father in whatever she does. She says, “More and more…I perceive the enveloping of this new grace. It is as if Jesus turned my soul toward a divine Lighthouse, the glory of the Father, and by this light, I apprehend a great perfection, a rare path. Shall I tell you how? As if walking not with shoes or just walking, but flying with wings, and always ascending toward heaven, [toward] God…I think it is, because it envelops me in light; it permeates me with peace because, in all this, I perceive God. Oh how subtle and real spiritual things are!” (UGF, 74)
Conchita’s words make sense here since a journey is marked by its destination. What we aim at as our end marks the whole path. So her fixing her eyes on the glory of the Father helped direct her eyes to heaven and imbued all her actions with the light of God. It’s part of how all her common ordinary acts throughout the day were supernaturalized. The links of the chain of gold linking her with the Eucharist, her doing all for the salvation of souls and the glory of the Father, and her deep conviction of union with Jesus supernaturalized her whole life. Faith, hope, and love elevated her daily life and Jesus brought it to fulfillment in the Eucharist. And even her share in the Cross was sweetened by doing it for the glory of the Father. The Lighthouse of the Father’s glory illumined even the Cross in her life.
#2. Supported by the Eucharist
Conchita hears the Lord say, “I am Jesus, hidden in the Eucharist. I am the One performing miracles of omnipotence and power. I am here wishing to possess the whole of your person. Listen then with the ears of your soul to My voice that says: Be not afraid, throw yourself in the ocean of myrrh [the ocean of my suffering] because I am here. I will sustain you, if you have faith” (I AM, 16). What the Lord says to Conchita here, didn’t he also say to St Paul about the thorn in his flesh in 2 Cor 12:9? “My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.” And Conchita will find an important source of the Lord’s support in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is key in all this for Conchita. This is how we are supported by the Lord Jesus, how we are brought into union with his self-offering on the Cross, and how his Spirit empowers us. Through the Eucharist.
For Conchita, Christ’s Priesthood captures that interior disposition of offering himself for the salvation of the world. And he wants to draw us into that self-offering. Conchita says, “The most sublime aspect in Christ is His Priesthood centered on the Cross. The Eucharist and the Cross constitute one and the same mystery.” (MSD, 158) And our Lord says, “I wish that above all, there be honored the interior sufferings of My Heart, sufferings undergone from My Incarnation to the Cross and which are mystically prolonged in My Eucharist” (MSD, 153). So Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection is perpetuated in the Eucharist so we are able to have a greater share in it throughout our lives. Conchita says, “Because the Eucharist is an extension of the Incarnation: the divine Word in human form, giving His flesh to be consumed, becomes, in a certain way, our flesh, in an extremely close union” (RT, 68).
In Conchita’s understanding, the mystical incarnation leads us to be with Jesus on the Cross and the Eucharist supports us in this. Conchita hears the Lord say to her, “It is the most precious fruit of the great favor of My mystical incarnation in your heart…You are My altar and at the same time you will be My victim. Offer yourself in union with Me. Offer Me at every instant to the eternal Father, with the sublime intent of saving souls and of glorifying [the Father]. Forget all and especially yourself. Let this be your constant concern” (MSD, 157). The Lord often repeated these words to her: “offer Me and offer yourself” (UGF, xxviii). This is what we do in every Mass and Conchita helps open up the mystery for us. This is why she founded the religious institutes under the name of the Works of the Cross. She sees this as the glory of Christianity, the work of the Cross being extended.
Conchita hears the Lord say, “It is evident that My immolation, in itself alone, suffices and more than suffices, for appeasing God’s justice.” Yet when is Christianity at its best? What is the flower of the Gospel? “Is it aught else but uniting all victim in one single Victim, all suffering, all virtue, all merits in the One, that is, in Me, in order that all this be of worth and obtain graces? What does the Holy Spirit intend in My Church save to form in Me the unity of wills, of sufferings and of hearts in My [Sacred] Heart?…Has the Eucharist any other purpose than to unite bodies and souls with Me, transforming them and divinizing them? It is not only on altars of stone, but in hearts, those living temples of the Holy Spirit, that one must offer heaven this Victim…and also offer themselves” (MSD, 203-4).
It is worth noting here that part of the Lord’s design is bringing about a unity of hearts and wills in this offering of the one Victim. Might intercessory prayer help fulfill this? In praying for one another, in sharing in one another’s sufferings through compassion, this union of hearts is brought about in a wondrous manner. And it reaches its culmination in the offering of the Eucharist.
But how does all this enter into our daily lives we might wonder? Conchita sees our day to day practice of the virtues, sacrifices, and merits as forming a great chain of gold all linked together with the Eucharist. Moreover, through the mystical incarnation, Jesus has so identified himself with her that, in a certain sense, she could repeat the Lord’s words at the Last Supper, “This is my Body, This is my Blood.” This would serve as a link connecting her daily activities to that of the offering of the Mass.
The Lord says to Conchita, “My daughter, I want you to say these words often and above all in your sorrow, with a loving will: ‘This is My Body; this is My Blood,’ offering yourself to the eternal Father in union with Me. Do you not recall that you are host and must be victim? With this union, I live in you, My poor creature; offer yourself as to live My same life, giving yourself to souls as I gave Myself, for the same cause and with the same goal, that is to say, the glory of the Father and the salvation of the world…With Me, say, ‘This is My Body; this is My Blood,’ so that your children will repeat these same redemptive words…Repeat them with the intention of voluntary sacrifice, uniting all that you are through Him Who is…Understand, that when I offer My Body and My Blood, I offer along with it not only My physical body, but also My Mystical Body…in My Church and in souls, and with it My soul and My Divinity, that is, the Incarnate Word, through which your sacrifices, and those of your children, will have worth” (CSJ, 74-5)
So that was part of Conchita’s spirituality. She never claimed to be an ordained priest and kept to the proper distinctions. But in the baptismal priesthood of all believers, she knew she was united to Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim, and repeating his words helped her to appreciate how all was linked to the Mass. The various ways she made a gift of herself throughout the day were united to the Eucharist. It seems she almost imagined the Lord Jesus standing over her saying these words, “This is My Body, This is my Blood” offering Conchita to the Father in offering the Eucharistic Host.
Finally, another thing she did to remember this deep identification with the Lord was take a corpus off a crucifix. She then wore the corpus alone on a chain since she herself was the Cross on which Jesus continued to suffer on—suffering in and through her (BJC, xxvi). This was a new name the Lord had given her, “the Cross of Jesus” and he told her, “I want you to be My Cross upon which I repose” (LHS, 78). In other words, Jesus continues his work of the Cross through her and the offerings she makes united with him.
#3. Our Blessed Mother Stands by Us
There is another element to Conchita’s spirituality of the Cross. She brings us to the Cross but she does so with a great gentleness. She enjoys intimate union with Jesus and depends on his grace but there is also another element to the Cross. At the foot of the Cross is Mary. Mary the most gentle woman who ever lived is at the foot of the Cross with us, so this helps us. Just think of God the Father’s tenderness. He knows we don’t much care for the Cross, that we are afraid of it, that we tend to flee from it. So God gives us Mary at the foot of the Cross, and this makes it a bit more gentle. Maybe part of the Cross is not always feeling the presence of our Blessed Mother but we always remain under her mantle. It may feel like we have only our little toe under her mantle. But no, we remain completely under the protection of her mantle and under her motherly care. Jesus tells us from the Cross, “Behold your mother!” He tells Mary, “Woman, behold your son! (behold your daughter).” Our Blessed Mother also helps bring joy into the Crosses we have to bear. And this is important for Conchita too.
Conchita notes that in the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, Mary offers us to the Father in union with Jesus. Mary offers us to the Father in her arms. Our Blessed Mother says to Conchita, “I am your mother, your loving mother, and I want to hide you as the apple of my eye, to conceal you with my mantle, to shelter you in my womb, to withdraw your eyes from the sight of evil and your ears from all false doctrine that would plunge you into hell. Follow the road of humility and of faith; sacrifice your own judgment, believing in Jesus, and place all your confidence in me. Then you will never be lost, for such a humble one is saved, and the humble one is my true child who lives in the shelter of my goodness and love. I come to offer you as a victim in my arms, like Jesus, and this will be your Rose for today” (RT, 34) Did you catch that? It’s kind of sly. Amidst the gentleness and caresses of being under Mary’s mantle, she slips in this last line about coming to offer us as a victim with Jesus. If anyone else would say they are coming to offer us as a victim, it would be frightening. But coming from our Blessed Mother even being a victim with Jesus is sweetened. Even the Cross is covered in Our Lady’s gentleness.
Conchita also has a unique and original insight into the life of Mary that can help us. Conchita thought it was part of her mission to make known an aspect of Mary’s life that has received little recognition thus far. It’s the solitude Mary suffered after Jesus’ departure from this life. Mary of course lived in great intimacy with our Lord Jesus during his life. Think of the bond made between this mother and child during the thirty years of Christ’s hidden life and even during his three years of ministry where we see Mary here and there. Conchita says that once the Lord Jesus ascended to the Father, Mary entered into a period of painful solitude. Sure, John and the other disciples were around and gave Mary comfort. But she still missed Jesus’ presence as she had known him for those 33 years. She had developed such an intimate motherly bond with him, that his leaving this earth left her desolate and in a painful solitude. Mary, like we do today, sought the face of Jesus in the Eucharist and in prayer, but still something was missing from the former relationship, so she suffered in her solitude. This most perfect mother missed her son, Jesus. So during those years of Mary’s life, up to the end of her earthly life, she cared for the Church and also suffered, which was also a means of drawing graces down upon the Church.
We might consider how Conchita’s own life was like this a bit. Conchita was a widow from age 38 to the end of her life at 75. The loneliness she felt must have given her some insight into the Blessed Virgin Mary’s solitude. And perhaps we have in this mystery of Mary’s life a potential source of consolation for those who suffer from loneliness. Perhaps this is partly why Conchita feels this aspect of Mary’s life needs to be more known.
Conchita received many words from Our Lady from this period of Mary’s solitude. Without the same presence of Jesus with her, Mary says, “The solitude of my soul is sadder than death. I do not seek for comfort now, nor do I claim it. My only desire is to be able to console others, for as Jesus is my life, after Him, I am the life of the newborn Church, of the apostles, and of the disciples” (RT, 137). Mary recalls how at the foot of the Cross, she became the mother of every individual Christian in Jesus’ words to her and John. “Woman, behold your son!” “Behold your mother.” Yet though she became Mother of the Human Race at the foot of the Cross, she notes that there is much more to the mission of a mother than those first birth pains. Her suffering during the remaining years of her life and solitude, united to Jesus, drew down graces and continued Mary’s Motherhood on behalf of the Church.
Mary says to Conchita, “There on Calvary, I had hardly begun my maternal mission and I needed more and more years of immense martyrdom, of astonishing torments of love, so that, at this time, my heart would embrace the necessary and sufficient suffering [to become] the ‘Mother of Humanity’…when you read this [about the suffering of my solitude], devotion to the Holy Spirit will be renewed and, as in a new Pentecost, shed a light upon your mother, His beloved spouse, in the martyrdom of her solitude; so that her glories will be sung together with those of the same divine Spirit, since I was the instrument of His operations and of the extraordinary graces, the abundance of which were spread by Him throughout the world. A powerful reaction awaits the world through these two means: that of the Holy Spirit and that of your mother who loves you so greatly” (RT, 112-13). So Conchita thinks that making known Mary’s sorrowful solitude will unleash new graces upon the world in almost a new Pentecost. Why does she think this? How could this be the case?
Well, I suppose it is very much in keeping with what we have seen thus far with Conchita. Christ’s saving suffering, death, and Resurrection is sufficient for the salvation of the world. Yet he gives us a share in this work of co-redemption, in a subordinate fashion to him, through our own love, prayer, and sufferings. It’s especially the Holy Spirit who empowers us to do so, to unite our sufferings to that of Jesus on the Cross. And Mary would be the prime example of this. So that’s the link between Mary and the Holy Spirit in what we heard from Conchita. The glories sung of Mary will be those sung of the Holy Spirit since He’s the one who primarily brings it about. Mary and the rest of us yield to the Spirit’s influence. This is about Mary as Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of grace being primarily a glorification of the Holy Spirit at work in her and through her.
Mary’s time of solitude, in Conchita’s view, is an important period of co-redemption in the life of Mary. We should not let it overshadow Mary’s suffering at the foot the of the Cross. But yes, why not also reflect on the remaining implications of Mary’s becoming our mother at the foot of the Cross and the unfolding of her motherhood of us in the rest of her life? It is worth reflecting on ways that the mission of the sorrowful mother might have continued after the Cross.
And all this is to say, that when we are called to be with Jesus on the Cross, Jesus’ own Spirit, the Holy Spirit, stirs within us. And Jesus’ own mother and our mother, Mary, is standing beside us with her motherly care. Mary tells Conchita, “How little you know my heart, child. This love which pierced the depths of my being with a sword, this love which the words of Jesus created in my soul, is very deep and will always endure. From [the time of the Cross], I loved you as the apple of my eye, and I shelter you in the womb of my care, and I nourish you with my substance, transmitting my virtues, graces, divine gifts and resemblance to you; more than a beautiful mother gives her child beauty, and more than a queen mother brings forth kings. O, if you could comprehend the immensity of my love! Study it, measure it if you can, and place this Rose of my heart upon your heart, for you are my child” (RT, 117).
This is a consolation for us. To have such a mother at our side. Conchita was much consoled by all this and she also discover something of her own role as a spiritual mother. Reflecting on Mary’s role at the foot of the Cross. Reflecting on Mary’s role in the newborn Church helped Conchita also see her own role as a spiritual mother. The Lord especially showed Conchita the spiritual maternity she exercised on behalf of priests, through her prayers and sacrifices. That is why the Vatican Congregation of the Clergy profiled Conchita in its 2007 document entitled “Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity.” This document includes these words Conchita once heard from the Lord: “Bring yourself as an offering for the priests. Unite your offering with my offering, to obtain graces for them.” … “I want to come again into this world. … in my priests. I want to renew the world by revealing myself through the priests. I want to give my Church a powerful impulse in which I will pour out the Holy Spirit over my priests like a new Pentecost.” “Bring yourself as an offering for the priests. Unite your offering with my offering, to obtain graces for them.”
This was a special emphasis of Conchita’s life, this spiritual maternity on behalf of priests. And if you are drawn to it, prayer and sacrifices offered for priests are very much needed in our day. (By the way, priests should be offering prayers and sacrifices on behalf of the rest of the People of God, so I’m not suggesting you do anything more than priests should be doing for you). And of course this spiritual maternity or paternity also applies to anyone whom you might feel led to do it for. Mothers and fathers exercise also a spiritual maternity and paternity over their children. We can do likewise for our friends, family members, those we meet who are in need, or anyone else the Lord may draw us to pray for. Conchita helps us see it is all a real thing however much the effects may be hidden from our eyes.
So all that we have seen from Conchita in these two conferences, where does it leave us? It leaves us with Jesus. The death to the false self leads us to a fuller life of Jesus living in us. In the spiritual journey, Conchita has described the blossoms of consolations giving way to fruit (SS 11-12). She then describes the seasoned, mature soul in this way, “the fruits finish ripening to the point of dripping the living syrup, until they drop from the tree on their own. The soul then has the color and taste of Jesus since the transformation into Him is complete. Well burnt by the sun of desolations and strengthened with the irrigation of the Blood of Jesus, she has grown and made herself beautiful with Him, Who has come to be her life, her milieu, her reason for living and her all! Jesus is her blood, her breath, her color, and her very substance” (SS, 29). So we see the mystical incarnation has come to its fulfillment in Jesus shining forth from the soul.
The full unfolding of the mystical incarnation leads into a deeper share in the life of the Trinity. It does not lead us there by ourselves, but with others as well, as our prayers and sacrifices also win graces for others to enter more deeply into the life of the Trinity. Conchita’s spirituality is radically Trinitarian, as you have probably already noticed. The Father’s gaze of love engenders his Son, Jesus, in the Christian soul through power of the Holy Spirit. In these last several minutes of this conference, I’ll give you a taste of Conchita’s experience of the Trinity at the heights of the spiritual life. This is where all this is leading us too.
#4. The Culmination of it all is in the Trinity
Conchita says, “At the highest level of God’s Love for a soul, the soul can do nothing but remain awestruck, grateful, melted in thanksgiving, and docile to being refashioned by God according to His will, submerged in His love, plunged into this infinite sea of love…and what of me, miserable sinner, so especially loved by the Father that He has shared something of His eternal fruitfulness with me, by giving me Jesus through the Holy Spirit?” (LHS, 41) The Lord says, “This soul should simplify itself in unity…‘To simplify in unity’ means to simplify in love, to merge into the love the Three Divine Persons, who form one sole unity” (LHS, 94). “Precisely in this Unity [of the Trinity] is found the secret of its [fruitfulness]. The more souls unify themselves with this Unity…, the more these souls are fruitful, since, in the measure they approach the Most Holy Trinity, is the superabundance of light, of grace and of gifts they receive from It. In this beautiful and divine Unity, the Three divine Persons and the blessed find their beatitude” (MSD, 284).
Conchita makes much of the Unity of the Trinity but she emphasizes that it’s a unity of love. And that’s why she sees this unity as being so fruitful. God is so fruitful that the Father begets the Son from all eternity and the Holy Spirit proceeds from Father and Son from all eternity. The soul, as she unifies and ‘simplifies her life in Love’ (LHS, 15; RT, 143-9), enters into a deeper union with the Trinity and God’s own union of Love. In this simplifying her life in love is found spiritual fruitfulness, just as the Trinity’s union of love is fruitful.
This leaves her life changed. She hears the Lord say, “You must live, breathe, labor, in the bosom of these three divine Persons. They must constitute your atmosphere, your breathing, your existence. Thus, you will sanctify your life and what you are, divinizing your whole being and each of your steps to heaven. From today on, you must live more and more in this intimacy with the Trinity, drawing from It light, the way you conduct yourself, force, grace and all the helps needed to carry out your mission on earth. You should not leave on high, as on a throne and far away this Trinity of Persons, but live, breathe and dwell in Its bosom, under its [fruitful] influence, in the radiance of Its divinity, in the shadow of Its grace” (MSD, 281).
Conchita depends on the Trinity being so near to us. She casts her whole being on Father, Son, and Spirit. The Trinity is the Rock of her life, upon which she builds everything. The Trinity is so close because has given himself to man. She says, “[God] gave [man] His Word, and with His Word made flesh, He gave him all since He gave Himself as a gift” (MSD, 291). And in fact, God giving himself to us simply extends to us the self-giving that has been going on for all eternity within the communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Conchita says, “From this fertile and infinite might of God which reflects and unites among Them the divine Persons in these eternal emanations of Eternal Charity, there is also derived His love for man and the gift of His Word to save him. As it was not enough for God to empty Himself, I might say, from within Himself, as if He did not want to be happy without man, He made him in His image, as His likeness [and He redeemed him for himself]” (MSD, 296). This ties everything together in Conchita’s thought. As she says, God empties himself within himself in this Trinitarian self-giving. God gives himself within the Trinitarian communion. And from this, in his free choice of love, God extends this self-giving to us in giving himself to us. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit give themselves to us especially in the Paschal Mystery. And so we see what all her emphasis on our sharing in the Cross of Jesus is leading to. As we give ourselves through sharing in the Cross of Jesus we grow in self-giving love. More precisely, in giving ourselves on the Cross we enter more deeply into the self-giving love of the Trinity. We share in the Trinity’s own unity of Love. Conchita says, “Love contains the secret of the eternal delights of the unity of the Holy Trinity. It is virginally fruitful (because Trinitarian love is virginal), most powerful, active, reciprocal, and it perpetually propagates its beauty and splendor in the eternal ecstasy of the Divine Persons. Superabundant and overflowing, this shoreless sea of sheer beauty, [almost] by divine compulsion, spills delight into those souls too in whom the Trinity is mirrored and diffused” (LHS, 97).
So for Conchita, our self-giving on the Cross, leads us more deeply into this Trinitarian self-giving. Our ecstasy of service, going out of ourselves in service of others and in service of God, plunges us more deeply into God. For as she says, in the Trinity itself is the “beauty and splendor [of] the eternal ecstasy of the Divine Persons.” And it is an ecstasy of Trinitarian self-giving love. A Trinitarian self-giving love also extended to us, as God gives himself to us.
To conclude, Conchita is convinced that God does not dwell far away but near to man. For she says, “[God] gave [man] His Word, and with His Word made flesh, He gave him all since He gave Himself as a gift. The Church is the throne of the Trinity on earth, the only gate through which one can enter into eternal possession of God” (MSD, 291). These words of Conchita about the Church as the throne of the Trinity on earth are a good place to bring these conferences to a close. Written 30 years before the Second Vatican Council, which focused so much on the Church in Trinitarian terms, these words are another instance of Conchita’s relevance to the Church in our own age. The Church is the throne of the Trinity, where we enter into communion with one another and with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The divine Word pursues us with his grace and love. The Spirit empowers us. And under the loving gaze of the Father, Jesus is engendered and grows in our souls. All in the bosom of Mary. All in the bosom of the Church, the throne of the Blessed Trinity. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.