Monday, October 24, 2011

Memoirs of a Spanish Country Priest (Chapter XXII)


CHAPTER XXII

Light in the Darkness

(Conchita’s spiritual martyrdom)

The penances of Conchita — even though she was still a child — were not limited to mere external acts . . . Conchita passed through the test of the “Dark Night” — as St. John of the Cross describes it — a test of true anguish which had, as a consoling balm, the sweet presence of the Virgin herself, as we shall see shortly.

In the year 1962, at the Piedrajita that I have just mentioned, I had the occasion to share the terrible spiritual test that Conchita was undergoing. She confided to me then the true martyrdom that was tormenting her virginal soul.

Expressionless, without raising her eyes from the ground, as we mowed the dry hay, the child revealed her affliction little by little.

— “I have profound doubts concerning the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist,” she told me. In addition, “I often ask myself how God could exist for all eternity . . . These and many other doubts are for me a real martyrdom.”

Persons who read this and have some experience in these things know that those souls, who are undergoing such a moral martyrdom, are incapable of understanding the reasons that one can give them to lead them out of the darkness into the light. One can only suffer with them, and await the day the Lord has reserved for the fall of the veil that darkens the peace of the soul. One day the storm will calm; the Lord will do everything.

On that same day Conchita revealed to me that the Virgin was aware of her doubts. During her visits, her first words were: “Conchita, how are your doubts?” This gave her consolation and peace, which only lasted as long as the Virgin was with her.

 [Editors note]
Many years ago I went through that same spiritual martyrdom, having doubts about the divinity of Jesus and the Triune Godhead. That was after I read a few books by so-called pastors, who denied Christ as God. It was quite a struggle for me, yet I still prayed and went to Mass. Then one day I was at a prayer group, held in a friends basement, and still tormented and struggling with this doubt, I saw a Bible on the window still and picked it up. When I opened the Bible it was at John 14:

Last Supper Discourses.

1* “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith* in God; have faith also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3* And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.a 4Where [I] am going you know the way.”* 5Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth* and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.b 7If you know me, then you will also know my Father.* From now on you do know him and have seen him.”c 8Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father,* and that will be enough for us.”d 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?e 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.f 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.g 12Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.h 13And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.i 14If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."

  This chapter from Saint John's Gospel changed my whole outlook about God and removed my doubt 100%.  I  was so grateful to the Holy Spirit, who came to my rescue and to Mother Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel de Garabandal, whom we were honoring that night in prayer, leading me and teaching me about her Divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with the Holy Spirit is One God with the Father!  I can honestly say that after that night, for over 40 years, that doubt never returned and I have grown spiritually in my love and belief in the Blessed Trinity! I also have been helped by my reciting the Fatima Prayers which are all Trinity oriented:
O  Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee: my God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament!

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. 

Deacon John