Lourdes Pinto, Dec, 2010

It is precisely in our daily hidden lives that we are given the opportunity to live the hidden martyrdom of love united to Jesus and Mary. Pope Benedict XVI in his homily to the Cardinals on Nov. 21, 2010 says: In the crucified Jesus the divinity is disfigured, stripped of all visible glory and yet is present and real. Faith alone can recognize it: the faith of Mary, who places in her heart too this last scene in the mosaic of her Son's life. She does not yet see the whole, but continues to trust in God, repeating once again with the same abandonment: "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord". Like Mary, we too do not see the whole, but we must imitate her faith as we choose to trust God in the daily trials of our lives. We too must consistently say, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord" as we choose to remain daily united to Love crucified.

The Cross was planted in the Heart of Jesus from the moment of the Incarnation. He lived His interior crucifixion through His hidden martyrdom of love before the summit of Calvary. Mary was united to the Word of the Cross (1 Cor 18) as she carried Him in her womb. Through her ordinary hidden life she lives united as one to the Word of the Cross, and in this way, she possess with her Son the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor.1:24). She lives her daily trials, challenges and sufferings abandoned completely to God. Mary is the "hidden force" with her Son. Mary is gentle, humble, silent and also strong. She possesed the spiritual strength that all souls can only achieve as they unite to the Word of the Cross. This strength emanates from her presence. She is a constant source of strength and consolation for Jesus and the Apostles. It is in this Divine strength and power that she participates as Coredemptrix in the salvation of mankind.

Jesus speaks these words to St. Faustina: My Daughter, I want to instruct you on how you are to rescue souls through sacrifice and prayer.You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone. I want to see you as a sacrifice of living love, which only then carries weight before Me. You must be annihilated, destroyed, living as if you were dead in the most secret depths of your being.  You must be destroyed in that secret depth where the human eye has never penetrated; then will I find in you a pleasing sacrifice, a holocaust full of sweetness and fragrance. And great will be your power for whomever you intercede. Outwardly, your sacrifice must look like this: silent, hidden, permeated with love, imbued with prayer. I demand, My daughter, that your sacrifice be pure and full of humility, that I may find pleasure in it. I will not spare My grace, that you may be able to fulfill what I demand of you.

Mary, the Mother of the Cross, is the perfect model of this "sacrifice of living love". Her sacrifice is perfected in the last years of her life during her suffering of solitude. Her life from the moment of the Incarnation to Calvary was marked with great trials, challenges and sufferings but her strength and consolation was her deep union of love with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In her years of solitude after Jesus' Ascension, Mary lives in perfect faith and hope as she no longer feels the presence of the Trinity. Jesus reveals the hidden martyrdom of solitude of our Blessed Mother to Venerable Conchita: "The Heart of Mary obtained these graces in the martyrdom of a solitude in which she was left, not by men (she had St. John and the Apostles and many souls who fervently loved her), not by Me in My Body (she consoled herself with the Eucharist and with her living and perfect faith), but by the Trinity, which hid itself from her, leaving her in a spiritual and divine abandonment".(Conchita: A Mother's Spiritual Diary p. 178)  We are not able to fathom the suffering of the Mother of God in these last years of her life because we are not able to fathom her union with the Trinity during her life on earth.

Jesus desires for us to be united to His Blessed Mother's suffering of solitude so that with her we can "rescue many souls". It is through our ordinary daily hidden lives that the Holy Spirit unites us to the Word of the Cross. Only then, united and living in crucified love do we possess the power of God, which is the power of Love. This is the "hidden force" that has the power to transform hearts and nations and pierce all darkness. This is the "hidden force" that will cleanse and renew the priesthood. This is the power that Jesus promises us through His words to St. Faustina when He says: And great will be your power for whomever you intercede.This hidden force is not recognized by many and yet it is "present and real"; it is hidden in the souls "disfigured and stripped of all visible glory": victim souls that are united to The Victim.

Pope Benedict XVI in his homily to the Cardinals reminds each of us what is true JOY: "this is what our joy is: participating, in the Church in the fullness of Christ through the obedience of the Cross, of being qualified "to share in the inheritance of the saints in light", of being "transferred" to the Kingdom of the Son of God (Col 1:12-13).

Pure love is of far greater apostolic fecundity than the most outstanding works accomplished with less than love. It is at the eve of life, in silence and isolation, in prayer and in sacrifice, that God's Mother attains her maximum of love and her fullness of apostolic fecundity in the service of the Church of Christ, just as Christ Himself did not save the world in the luster of His Word and of His miracles, but on the Cross. (Conchita: A Mother's Spiritual Diary p. 181)

Fr. Kosicki in the book, The Spirit and The Bride Say "Come"! answers our question on how we are to live united to the Word of the Cross and participate in the "hidden force" that is desperately needed in the Church: And how are you to answer this call? By becoming a child – a little child of Mary. By completing your surrender to Jesus and the Spirit in accepting his invitation to surrender also to Mary, for this is what consecration to Mary means. It is assuming the role of the "beloved disciple" of Jesus and letting Mary guide you to the Cross, then through the Cenacle to become fully Church.

Love Crucified