(Note: the Sanish translation will appear next Monday in a separate page. – La traducción en español aparecerá el próximo lunes, en una página al lado de de este blog, y que se llamará: “LA CRUZ Y EL ESPIRITU SANTO”)
First of all, thank you for those who are or have prayed for me regarding keeping these “blogging” alive… Huge signs have not arrived but many little signs have, tons of them in favor of doing it… We shall see! Therefore, I will continue discerning… I must confess that one of my problems is my need for privacy, and the second one is that I feel I have no right to “play” theologian with what I know… I was born like that: too private and too perfectionist… It is genetics within me, but sometimes, I know well that I have no right to even think about my likes or dislikes… So, I am trying to hear my God with great interest… and His will, will be done…
So far, My Lent has been rich in signs… and fruits… And here are the results:
A. The Cross… many times I have made lists of my crosses in order to work at tasting them and accepting them as crucial part of my sandwich (prayer being the other part) in order to work for the salvation of souls and of mine as well. But it has been in the last few days that I finally understood the kind of crosses I am faced with and received hints on how to handle them… Using SOY, suffer, offer and say YES to the suffering, I will divide the topic in three parts:
I. Types of crosses (SUFFERING)
1. Those that are imposed on me… Personal examples follow but not all will be shared:
a) My health: being allergic to 60 foods, and onions being one of them, imposes not only pain in some joint whenever I eat the wrong thing, but forces me to cook just for me and not to go to restaurants… It is due to being contaminated with mercury at the dental chair in 2002.
b) Memories of persecutions, rejections and the like which I still believe it was Satan’s way to discourage me.
c) The state of the world…. I just received some info about a 9 year old in Brazil, who was abused by her stepfather, was pregnant with twins and underwent an abortion and the local Bishop excommunicated the doctor who did it even that under Brazilian law, abortion is allowed for rape cases… I bring it as a little example of what is happening in the whole world, and we are in the U.S. keeping pace with everyone. (You may see the story at LifeSiteNews.com). I thank God daily that I am not a practicing physician in this country anymore!
d) The lies heard in TV commercials… especially about selling certain drugs…
2. Crosses that I create!
a) Resisting the will of God for me
b) Fleeing any cross mandated by God
c) Uncontrolled anxiety out of fear of crosses above
d) Always seeing my cup half empty, instead of half full of graces and blessings.
3. Voluntary crosses, self-imposed, planned crosses for the Kingdom
a) Eating what is best for my allergies despite distaste or not eating what I like.
b) Showing much patience to others around me, especially when gathered with other Christians or anyone else, even praying to love them: TV anchors, hosts, repetitious news of no importance, immorality in programs, constant advertising in TV of the culture of death wishes, etc.
II. Offering all crosses daily to God especially united with the Sacrifice of Jesus at the Mass for His glory, and choosing others to receive the fruits of these crosses, by name if possible. At this moment I am placing all members of the “culture of death” at the Altar in the middle of my sandwich made of prayer and crosses.
III. Saying YES to those crosses… But how?
1. In word
2. In action: resolute silence to the suffering: every time I am in front of X cross and its suffering, I deny myself of the pleasure to blame within and over and over those who are the source. I should thank God for the graces in these crosses and actually ASK Him not to remove them… as I beg Him for His mercy for those who are behind it and for love for me towards them. To my surprise, this Lent, I have had glimpses, may be 30 second instances of feeling soo much love for those who want to impart the culture of death to my freedom to choose life.
B. The life of a future saint: I have never had a clear idea of how to divide the list of my crosses and how to make them of use for the Kingdom as I do now in this Lent. Yet, this new approach led me again to the Servant of God, Maria Concepción Cabrera de Armida… She brings the Holy Ghost into this sandwich in a beautiful way. She was born in Mexico in 1862. Died at age 75 on March 3, 1937. Because her name was Concepcion, Concha is the nickname and Conchita, the diminutive. Fr. M.M.Philipon, OP, called her by this last name as he edited her spiritual diary that consisted of 66 manuscripts, and published them in a book. He writes that in 1913 in Rome, one of the commissions charged with examining her, declared: “She is extraordinary of the extraordinary.”
She was in love with Jesus since a child. At age 14 she found among many suitors, one who waited to marry her until she felt it was the proper time and age, when she turned 23. México was in the middle of the invasion from the U.S. by Masons that started in 1902. The ministerial priesthood and the entire Church were attacked as never before… I always believe that in 1531 Our Lady of Guadalupe chose México just because of this event. Masons planned, once established in Mexico by taking over the government, to invade the rest of the Americas. However, Masonry was never strong in our countries below. I grew up often walking and passing by a Mason’s Temple, but it did not really grow much to this day. She must have planted her heel and stop the horror.
So, Conchita was born as a sign for the Church of those days because the bishops of her time embraced her. They took her to Rome and Pius X embraced her as well and all her writings, as she had received them from Jesus Himself, even that they were not messages flattering the Church… The Archbishop-Primate of México, Miguel Darío Cardinal Miranda, wrote: “We have known the Servant of God, Concepción Cabrera de Armida. We have met in Rome and in Coyoacán. We have read her works. …It is well to consider especially the life of this privileged soul for the domestic angle where, we saw her, with great admiration, in her home, with simplicity and fidelity, sanctifying herself by carrying out her mission as wife and mother. Our pastoral duty impels us to invite all of our diocese to fix their gaze on the horizon to behold a new star which is beginning to rise.”
She had 9 children, two nuns and one priest among them and became a widow in her late 30’s. In 1902 she was already saying that we all needed a new Pentecost… She founded two religious orders, one for men that she titled, Missionaries of the Cross, but Pius X asked her to change it to “Missionaries of the Holy Spirit”; and one for women called: “Contemplatives of the Cross.” The cross for her was one and the same with the action of the Holy Ghost. I have a picture of her place where she lived, and in the outside there is a large cross without the corpus, and the Holy Spirit, depicted as a dove, on top. She prayed much and received from God the message of uniting all three as the core of anyone’s spirituality.
She came to me in the early 90’s while I practiced in Steubenville OH, and when my third son was starting his theology studies at Franciscan U. of Steubenville. I used to spend many hours at the Church/Chapel of this university. A year before, I had received my second major professional persecution and I totally felt part of her spirituality in union with the Holy Spirit, Whom I had encountered some 15 years earlier, plus now, I was residing in a city with many charismatic’s around. But God brought her back to me in 2008, and speaking of receiving signs, she came back as a sign as follows:
A book was put together (very thick little book) with her transcription of messages from Jesus to His Priests containing stern warnings for them… It has been translated into English by an Abbey in Cleveland, OH and distributed only to priests. I never knew existed and probably because it is supposed to circulate only among priests. This until a friend from my home country surprised me with a copy she sent to the printers to be made, allowed by a member of the Catholic Church who lent the original to her for this purpose. She made two copies (no doubt illumined by the Holy Spirit) and sent me one, which arrived on February, 2008. So, since the early 90’s, in 2008 I did return to her writings, but during this Lent, her message came back with a lot of noise from the Holy Spirit after I understood the different types of crosses I can offer up…
The noise has been loud… super loud… On the anniversary of her death, March 3, 2009, I was summoned to make a sandwich of much prayer and picking up my crosses as understood and shared above, but asking for a brand new Pentecost for the ministerial Priesthood worldwide… and until the day I close my eyes. Ouch! Every day from March 19, 2009 on, I will offer my sufferings with the best YES I can muster and out of love for the present Catholic priests, for seminarians, for all those men discerning the vocation to the ministerial priesthood, and for all young males who have been called but do not yet know it, asking for them a brand new love for Jesus in the Eucharist and as never before. I will pray at each Mass I attend for the mercy of God to permit this Pentecost, and at the Offertory, spiritually I will send a package of human bread to the paten, made of all these men, in order for them to be transformed into Jesus’ Body, wrapped with my crosses and united to His Cross. I will be asking for all of them to become absolutely crazy about Jesus just as when they left the world and said yes to His Priesthood. I will expect them to have a brand new encounter with the Crucified similar to the one St. Paul had in route to Damascus, and very much the same as Cornelius had with the Holy Ghost. (Acts. 10)
The date is March 19 in order to make St. Joseph, the most pure man ever, to reign over this work… There is a group led by a well known priest, called “Priests for Life”… Well, this work will be known as “Life for Priests”… I did not choose the name or the sponsor, St. Joe. It was given to me in prayer and it makes sense… And laugh if you want but with my new job (being sooo long) I will be asking for the following favors from my God: since we need holy priests to change this Church in order for her to have a powerful holy voice in this culture of death, I have asked for: 5 St. Francis’ de Sales, 5 Iñigo’s of Loyola, 5 Dominic’s of Guzman, 5 Bishop’s Romero, 3 consecutive Pope’s considered “santo subito’s at their death, 2 St. John of the Cross’, 2 St. Paul of the Cross’ and 2 St. Marie Louis Marie de Montfort, PLUS 10 St. Padre Pio’s, 10 St. John Vianney’s, and 10 Venerable Solanus Casey’s, these last two to represent diocesan or religious order priests who are not particularly intelligent or super educated but born saints.
Let me share with you some words of Conchita’s spiritual diary in the book edited by Fr. Philipon, and you could relate my latest loud call to the content of her writings, although some 2 months ago, the book had appeared mysteriously in one of the boxes in this house, when most boxes are in a far away storage place, but I did not really read it much anymore. Since early 2008, this time I basically went back to her book with a new vision, and felt called by this sense to beg for this Pentecost through a sandwich of love made of my crosses and prayer… It was the call for me that in turn reminded me of her spirituality.
C. Notes taken from the book written/edited by Fr. M.M. Philipon, O.P Translated by Aloysius J. Owen, S.J.à “Conchita, a Mother’s Spiritual Diary.” –Alba House, 1978.
Conchita wrote on Dec. 11, 1913 – “The mystical incarnation is a grace of transformation unto the Crucified. Jesus becomes flesh, grows and lives in the soul, not in the material sense but through sanctifying grace. The soul which receives it feels, more or less periodically, the stages of the life of Jesus in it. These stages are ever marked by sufferings, calumnies and humiliations, in sacrifice and expiation as it was the life of Jesus on earth.
Jesus to Conchita: “When the Holy Spirit takes over a soul in this way, He fashions in it, little by little, the physiognomy of Jesus, in the sense I have already indicated to you. That is why the more a soul is like Me, the more the Eternal Father hears it, not due to its worth but due to its likeness and its union with Me, and in virtue of My merits which constitute what counts for obtaining graces from heaven for the entire world.
Page 158: Fr. Philippon writes: The principal act of the mystical incarnation is an offering of:
1. The oblation of Christ to His Father
2. And in union with Him, through Him and in Him, the total oblation of our own life for the salvation of the world and for the greatest glory of God.
This offering of love is the quintessence of the spiritually of the Cross –à The Word became flesh and becomes flesh again in souls only to be crucified again. The principal object of this grace is union of His will to the soul’s will.
Jesus: “You must offer yourself and offer Me to the heavenly Father at each instant, at each breath, on behalf first of all of all My priests and of My Church. Reproduce My life in you with the mark of sacrifice, becoming a living holocaust to His Glory.
Pg. 161: “You must save many souls, conduct them to perfection, attract them to vocations, obtain for priests many celestial favors. I want you to be My host and have the intention, renewed as often as possible day and night, of offering yourself with Me on all the PATENS on earth. I want you, TRANFORMED IN ME BY SUFFERING, by love and by practice of all virtues, to raise heavenward this cry of your soul in union with Me: THIS IS MY BODY; THIS IS MY BLOOD. Such is the end and essence of My Works of the Cross and the exercise of the Royal Priesthood of the people of God! You must perform the function of priest but by sacrificing yourself at the same time. There is the true priesthood: being victim with the Victim.” (July 17,1906)
“Do you not want to save the world? Did you not ask Me for it , ‘by Your Blood’, even before the Works of the Cross existed? Why have the Works come into the world? Very well, if you want to save souls, there is only one and powerful means: holy Priests.”
Pg. 246. “Yes, here we have the crowning of the Work of the Cross. This will truly be a solace for My Heart, giving Me holy priests. Tell Me you accept, that you will belong with Me to priests always, since your mission on behalf of them will continue in heaven. Yet, here you have another martyrdom.–> What priests will do against Me, you will feel, since it is in that basically what associating yourself to My priesthood consists of, in that you feel and you suffer because of their unfaithfulness and wretchedness. In this way, you will glorify the Trinity, as we will have the same reasons for suffering.” (Nov. 29, 1928)
“The Holy Spirit will reign the day when My sacrifice and suffering will also reign: the Cross in hearts. In so far as the Cross will not reign in souls, the Holy Spirit, He too will not reign. (May 26, 1901)
Pg. 224: “You must live in continual contact with the Trinity united to the Three Divine Persons by the grace of the mystical incarnation. You must live, breathe, labor in the bosom of these Three Divine Persons. This intimacy with the Holy Trinity, drawing from It: light, the way you conduct yourself, the force, the grace and all the help needed to carry out your mission on earth.”
Pg. 227: “Simplify your spirit. Remove all complications coming from creatures and things. Love Me in Unity; live, breathe, act, and bring about all virtues and all despoiling of yourself to tend toward this Unity. In this capital point of unity of wills consists the perfection of this unity.”
Pg. 229: I said to Him, “Lord, how would I be able to simplify myself?” He answered, “By dying to your will and by making it one with Mine.” (April 11, 1913).
Pg. 230: “All you do and practice, cast it as often as possible in this Unity. Your pains, your sufferings, your joys, your acts of renunciation, your desires and your hopes, your needs and your feelings, cast them all in this Unity which by its contact will simplify your life, the essence of your life… (April 15, 1913).
“The secret of arriving at the unity is to let yourself be conducted by the Holy Spirit since it is He who brings about Unity in God Himself.”
Pg. 239. Conchita wrote: “Mary, daughter, mother and spouse of the Trinity is directly in charge of harmonizing this Church, unifying priests and perfecting them in the Unity of the Trinity.” (April 7, 1928)
My final words: whenever I quote the heroic virtue of these saints, I feel like many will feel out of the contest… We hear much about the do’s and don’ts but hardly that God is in charge and we only have to allow Him do it, because for Him everything is possible… I have learned that when I doubt or get discouraged, I quickly go back to do what will pour His mercy over my spiritual life, and it will guide me to do whatever He wants… without I even knowing about it, and sometimes, until much later in hindsight. So, I have to do three things: pray for His mercy as I voluntarily call the Holy Spirit to take over, and give myself time to inspect my crosses, taste their pain and say a huge YES to them, as I offer them for the salvation of souls and for His glory.
Within minutes I am dancing for joy… and have a certitude that I am in His hands and cannot do much by myself, but to actively cooperate… as He modeled to us, with the Cross that He has so carefully put together just for my sanctification and that of others. I have noticed that the major temptation I face is to doubt such truth… It is not sinning in any other way, which happens to come after, if I do not secure my Cross and with prayer lock the door to any other major temptation… Conversely, if I do the three things mentioned, somehow spiritually speaking I become a super woman … Of course, the Holy Ghost, the Rhua, breathes in me wisdom, understanding, love to the unlovable with patience and lack of resentment…. When I resent or have fear of any kind, I know that I am not paying attention to my three “musketeers” and I go back to them very fast…
John 14: 26-27 – “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you. Peace I leave you; My peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
John 16: 12-13. “I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now. But when He comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all Truth.”
BECAUSE THIS TURNED OUT TO BE A LONG BLOG, I will write again next weekend… so that you have time to read it… If by then I end up calling it quits altogether, please remember these last stories… They truly work! If we have had such distinguished Saints dedicated to the “cross”, and Jesus chose a cross to die, it makes sense to understand that part of the key to grow has to do with our dedication to accept them as pure grace from the mercy of God! Our society seeks the contrary: seeking fun and defining our worth by learning “to be ourselves,” whatever that means… We define ourselves by the Word of God that asks for prayer and embracing of our cross, so that LOVE, the main commandment can be obeyed at all times, and only love can change this culture of death… and defeat Satan once and for all!