Posted by: wordofthevine | December 20, 2018

Christmas and the Cross with Venerable Concepcion Cabrera

Concepcion and the Living Cross of the Apostolate of the Cross

Maybe you’ve noticed that I have not posted many things for awhile. I have been in a difficult spiritual place, where my sense of God has gone away and I really feared that I wasn’t pleasing God in my prayer life. Team this with a move across the State of Iowa in order to direct a department of spiritual care for a Catholic hospital, away from my support system and spiritual director, I felt weak spiritually. In the midst of this, I continued to be faithful to prayer and desire for God but I reminisced about fervent times. Maybe you can relate to such times in your own life.

Now I sense that God continues to move me and ground me. He has brought me back to an awareness of my mission and love for  God and my spiritual mother, Venerable (and soon to be Blessed)  Concepcion Cabrera. A wonderful book, Priestly People by Father Richardo Zimbron Levy, M.Sp.S. summarizes Concepcion’s experience of winter in the spiritual life. Concepcion called this difficult spiritual time as “sorrowful union” as she found herself with Jesus in his union on the Cross where he bleated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” In the midst of this sorrowful, cold union, Concepcion wrote, ” Oh, Jesus, in the midst of my coldness, I love you! Hidden in your apparent disdain, I love you. In my doubts, in my struggles, in my pain, I love you.

Father Zimbron Levy interprets this for us writing, “we discover how Concepcion’s love had been purified through the path of suffering until it had become a total and selfless abandonment, firm and irrevocable” (53).

Maybe this Christmas, in the mixed experience of both joy and struggle, we can find that God is similarly forming and gifting us! Our job is to let God have us, to surrender all to him! What is one way you can give yourself to God this week?  ~Mary Kaufmann

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