The decisive hour of Conchita - part I
The locution of Jesus to Conchita on February 13, 1966 in Pamplona was an important event, a turning point in his life. Father Combe analyzes this event in detail, and at the same time gives a detailed meditation on this same locution.
2. THE INTERVENTION OF THE LORD: THE CALL AND THE MISSION
What happened next is known to all, through the writings that Conchita had already reported. This is the first part:
"On Sunday, February 13, 1966, when I was doing my thanksgiving after the communion, I was able to experience a great joy and sorrow at the same time. I heard the voice of Christ who told me:
"Conchita, you said that you came to this convent to prepare yourself to be my "wife" and to follow Me. Do you not say that you seek to do My will? At this moment, you are doing your will. Is it going to be like this all your life? I have chosen you for the world so that you may remain in it, so that you may experience the various difficulties that you will encounter because of Me. I want all this for your sanctification and that you may offer all this for the salvation of the world. You must speak to the World about Mary. You remember in June (apparently another locution), that you asked me if you would be a religious sister. I answered you and said that wherever you are, you will find a cross and suffering. I repeat all this now. "
The inner message of Jesus, our Lord, was luminously clear. It did not suggest any kind of ambiguity. This direct and concise message was made directly to the question, still surrounded by a lot of tenderness and personal affection.
3. THE CALL
"Conchita!" Our Lord called him by his name, as God did with his beloved servants in the past: Abraham, Isaac, Samuel, David, and many others. In fact, He called it by the name of Baptism, a sublime sacrament that allows us to unite with God and allows us to tell Him with all truth: "Our Father, Jesus our Lord, Holy Spirit, source of life, light and of love. "
"You came here to prepare yourself to be My wife ..." Do not you say that you seek to do My Will? "
In speaking this way, Jesus did not refuse Conchita's offer which demonstrates the total love she had for Jesus. He (Jesus) eagerly agreed to this, yet He wanted Conchita to fulfill this same offer of love by a path different from the one she had initially chosen. Our Lord had come so that she would change the course of her life. He did not say, "I chose you in Garabandal, for this beautiful village of the Cantabrian region and for the wonderful apparitions that took place there etc, etc". No, that's not what Jesus said. He said, "I chose you for the world ..."
Jesus was clearly calling Conchita to her lay state for her vocation. I often wondered why none of the seers had followed a religious life. The answer is simple: because Our Lord wanted them to remain in the world. But the answer may go even further. Why did he want it so badly? Clearly this is part of God's secret, which does everything with His infinite wisdom. Perhaps God wanted to emphasize the aspects defended in the Second Vatican Council, where no Council ever did it: the dignity of the Christian laws involved in the world. I believe in this, and I support my claims for the perfect harmony that has always existed between the messages of Garabandal and the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which were given by Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Garabandal. Moreover, if we look at these two points (the messages and the Council), so far apart, but in the light of the Holy Spirit, we can better understand how one complements the other for the benefit of the Church today.
1. The last apparition
Let us look at this event in the following context: The last apparition of Our Lady to Conchita took place on November 13, 1965. "All is over," wrote the young confidant of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. "The happy moments I had with my Mother of Heaven and my best friend, and with the baby Jesus, passed by. I stopped seeing you, but I never cease to feel the presence of all of them." Far beyond this thought of love described by Conchita, there was a concern that reigned in her. "What is my vocation?" What should I do in my life? "
The greatest turning point of Conchita happened when she received through a locution, the voice of Jesus. In this locution Jesus expressed to him that it was not His desire that Conchita should follow the life of a religious sister.
You could say that your decision was made and announced a few months ago. She obtained the consent of her mother, as well as the approval of her confessor and spiritual director, the well-known theologian Father Lucio Rodrigo de Comillas. For Conchita the facts were clear: when one is molded by Jesus and Our Lady in person for four years, and we live in His presence the indescribable sweetness of His powerful intimacy! - when the example of the young Bernadette de Lourdes or the life of Sister Lucy of Fatima is kept in her heart, is there any reason to hesitate?
But suddenly, something unexpected happened, a Divine providence: Cardinal Ottaviani, perfect of the Holy Office (now the congregation for the doctrine of the faith), called Conchita to Rome. In 1966, Conchita visited Rome with her mother, Father Luís Luna, Countess Irene de Parma and her secretary. The trip was organized by Father Luís Luna and all expenses were borne by Francisco Sanchez Ventura. They flew to Barcelona on January 12, 1966. On their return, Conchita said the following: "The trip to Rome went very well, we could not wait for more ... just forbade me to tell about everything that I just have to obey, and God will do the rest, they were very nice to me. "
That was true. Conchita was received with great cordiality by Cardinal Ottaviani in the company of the first secretary of the congregation, Monsignor Phillipe. The interview lasted two and a half hours. Monsignor Phillipe spoke to me personally about it last year: "Conchita has left us an excellent impression." It is also true that Conchita was received personally by Pope Paul VI and addressed some very significant words: "I bless you and with me the whole Church blesses you." After that, Conchita, his mother, and the secretary of the Countess Irene de Parma they left by car for San Giovanni Rotondo, where they were received in a paternal way in their cell, by the stigmatized Capuchin, Padre Pio.
This pleasant journey ended on January 21, 1966. Three weeks later, on Monday, February 7, 1966, Conchita finally entered as a student at the school of the convent of the Carmelites of Pamplona. It was also his birthday, he was 17 years old at the time. In a state of great joy and determination, she began thus to fulfill her most ardent inner desire, to become a religious sister.
This was Conchita's will. Was it God's will? On several occasions God's plans are very different from ours.
4. THE MISSION
These rich words encompass three components that become inseparable by themselves: sanctification, the cross, the salvation of the world. Let's analyze point by point:
1- "I want all this through your sanctification," said Jesus. In Garabandal, Our Lady did not ask for the same message? "But first they must be very good," that means becoming saints. In the scriptures we can find the following:
Matthew chapter 5-verse 48
"Be perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Letter from St. Paul to the Thessalonians, chapter 4, verse 3
"This is indeed the will of God: your sanctification, that you depart from debauchery, that each one of you know how to possess his body in holiness and honor, not being carried away by the desire of passion like heathen who do not they know God. "2-" ... wherever you are, you will find a cross and suffering. " Our Lady said the same thing in Garabandal: "You must make more sacrifices. Think of the passion of Jesus." Here we are again at the heart of the great mystery of redemption:
Matthew, chapter 16, verse 24
"Then said Jesus to the disciples, If any man will come with me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
Matthew, chapter 10, verse 38
"Whoever does not take up his cross to follow me, is not worthy of me." 3 "That you may offer all this for the salvation of the world." The Apostle John tells us that God sent His only son to save the world.
John, chapter 3, verse 16
"God so loved the world that he gave him his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."
Whenever we unite our sufferings and our brothers and sisters to the cross, through the love of oblation, we are in this way to collaborate with His work of salvation. We become through Him, with Him, and in Him, His work of redemption.
To these objectives of Conchita's mission in the world, Jesus adds another instruction in which, according to my suggestion, he is united with them by the divine law: "You must speak to the world of Mary." We have not heard on several occasions to say about Mary, things like, "What an exaggeration ... we are no longer in the Middle Ages .... Mary should not hide and hide Christ, etc."
For these senseless things, we must respond: were we, the Church, who defined Mary as the only Immaculate woman? No, it was God himself who created Mary as His masterpiece. It was God who through Mary performed wonderful things and it was God who chose her to be his faithful servant in order to fulfill His plan of salvation for the whole human family. And it was also God who gave us Mary as our Mother and thus revealed all His splendor.
The Church has only to look carefully over the long centuries over this divine revelation in relation to Mary in order to better understand and teach the only role in the plan of salvation which God has entrusted to His beloved Son.
Let us thus direct all the critical voices to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which in its dogmatic constitution of the Church "Lumen Gentium", dedicated the entire chapter VIII - five long sections - to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the mystery of Christ and of the Church.
The Council speaks of Mary in many other documents, for example, particularly in the decree of the lay apostolate (chapter IV).
(Note: You can access more information about the Second Vatican Council at https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/index_po.htm
Of course, this teaching of the Church for Mary and for the apostolic life is applied to any Christian in the world. But for Conchita, God demands more, much more, because she received much more from God than anyone else. During the time of the apparitions in Garabandal, did not she live with her companions in total and wonderful intimacy with Mary and Jesus? Was not she touched in body and soul with all these graces that were felt along with the message of Garabandal?
It is from the light of this knowledge that we can accurately assess what Jesus asked Conchita during the locution: "You must speak to the world about Mary." This was his specific mission, the precious pearl that God trusted in it.
Our Lord did not specify what means Conchita should use to thus fulfill his mission. He relied on Conchita's responsibility. He did not determine what program to follow in relation to his Marian apostolate, but of course it must include the message of Salvation that was given by Our Lady in Garabandal. What Our Lord did, was to warn Conchita that her mission was going to be difficult: "Wherever you are, you will find the cross and suffering." And he repeated this warning at the end of the phrase: "I want to warn you that the rest of your life will be in constant suffering." But your love will comfort you: "Do not be afraid. In your suffering you will find Me and Mary who love You very much." Thus, Conchita's vocation and mission in the world were completely defined in the first part of of 13 February 1966 in Pamplona.
The decisive hour of Conchita - Part II
These three terms can be found in the second part of Jesus' locution to Conchita: "So you do not love me?" Jesus replied,
"Conchita, you ask me this? Do My will and you will find My Love. Examine yourself well. Think more about souls. Do not worry about temptations. If you remain faithful to My love, you will go to overcome the great temptations that await you, use intelligently everything that I have spoken to you, intelligently in the spiritual form, do not close your eyes to your soul. It is a great thing to do. Think about what you have to do and what you must do, not to gain heaven, but for the world, so that people can fulfill My Divine will. Any soul that prepares itself, is willing to listen to Me, know what My will is.I want to tell you Conchita that before the miracle happens you will suffer a lot and few people will believe in you.Your own family will believe that you have deceived them yourself.I am the only that and may all this be for your sanctification and for the world to fulfill my message. I want to warn you that the rest of your life will be in continuous suffering. Do not be afraid. In your suffering, you will find Me and also Mary who love you very much. "
Conchita continued and said, "I asked if in Rome they will eventually believe, but He did not answer me."
Jesus responds, "Do not worry if people believe or do not believe in you, I will do everything, but I will also give you suffering, I will be with all those who suffer for me."
Conchita understood perfectly the will of the Lord; she accepted it. However, the rapid change of direction in his life made him doubt: "I wanted to sincerely give myself to Him entirely. Would not that be my love for Him, reciprocal in His heart?" His response shot back like a arrow: "Conchita, you ask me this? Who redeems you? Follow My will and you will find My love. "
Divine words, concise and profound - words that each of us can receive, as it is in the scriptures:
Letter from Saint Paul to the Galatians
"It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now have in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me."
After this exchange of love, Jesus did not tell her just about the role she will have to fulfill in the world. He gave him advice and comfort, just as he did with his apostles at the Last Supper before returning to the Father. His advice to Conchita was only fitting for her and the mission entrusted to her. I will make some comments from each of the parties:
"Think more about souls." This is the gift of ourselves to others. Without it, can anyone become an apostle?
"Do not worry about temptations:" Temptations are not sin, but obstacles to make us fall. We must overcome them with our faithfulness in the invincible love of Jesus.
"Try to intelligently understand everything I've told you ... spiritually." It is not a matter of intellect, reasonableness, or human knowledge, but of intelligence and heart that truly grasps the things of God.
"Do not close your eyes to your soul." Those who have eyes and do not see, Jesus said to the Jews who would not understand.
"Do not be fooled by anyone." What a useful advice-lest we be deceived and deceived by the lies of the world. Jesus gave precisely the same advice to his apostles.
Luke, chapter 21, verse 8
"... Take heed lest ye be deceived, for many shall come in my name ...." "Love humility and simplicity" When God makes known these twin virtues in a soul, He hastens to give thanks.
"Never think that what you have done is too much." We are all servants. There is no room to glorify ourselves.
Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 4
"Yea, if he was crucified in his weakness, now he is alive by the power of God: we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God working in you."
"Consider what you must do and what you must do, not to gain heaven, but for the world."
We were all invited to the vineyard of the Lord so we could all work as good servants for the good of our brothers.
Luke, chapter 12, verse 42
"... who then shall be the faithful and wise steward whom the lord hath put before his men to give him the grain in season?"
The word of God for all those who want to welcome it is always for us light and peace. It was the case with Conchita on that day when Jesus called for her and traced her the way to the world and warned her that for this she would have to suffer.
The Christian way is not a path of roses, but a way of salvation through the cross. At the end of the locution, Jesus, full of tenderness, comforted Conchita: "Do not be afraid. In your suffering you will find Me and also Mary who loves you very much." Jesus thus assured him of the presence of His love, just like that of Mary right in the center of his life.
John, chapter 15, verse 4: 7
"I will abide in me, that I abide in you ..."
Conchita did not tell us what answer she herself gave to Jesus, in the final part of this phrase.
However I would venture that the answer would be this: "Jesus, you ask me to follow my life according to Your will. It is a covenant of love, I accept it and sign it."
Conchita married on May 26, 1973 with Patrick Keena of New York. Thus began his dedication to the world, through the sacrament of marriage that God instituted for mankind.