Monday, September 8, 2014

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.