In God’s great love for His priests, He does not leave them alone to walk the narrow path of the Cross to become ONE with Christ Crucified. He gives them His Mother of Sorrows and, as one with her, spiritual mothers who bring encouragement, strength, support, love and consolation to their priest sons.
The “new Adams” and “new Eves”
The first fruit of Jesus and Mary’s love at the Cross is St. John, the chosen of the Lord, His beloved disciple. Of all the apostles, he is the one who knew the Heart of Jesus intimately. From this intimacy is born his openness to intimacy with Mary at the Cross.
Jesus in His agony called them forth at the foot of the Cross to become mother and son/disciple.
They could not be mother and son to each other without first being victims of love, one with Christ’s Passion. Union with Christ at the Cross is at the center of Mary’s motherhood and at the center of St. John’s son/discipleship. At the Cross, they come together, and their relationship acquires a new meaning and a new fecundity because it has the fire of pure and perfect love. When it reaches maturity, we find the purest essence of Spiritual Motherhood.
I, the Mother of all in heaven and on earth, the Mother of all priests, desire for their holiness. As I embraced St. John at the foot of the Cross, enveloped in the precious blood of my most adorable Son, I also want to embrace each priest. Through my Son, they are each my sons. I love them with my motherly pure heart. I want to lead them to be holy as Jesus is holy. I want to lead them into the abode of His pierced Heart. I will bring each of them to the Cross as I accompanied my Son. I will form them to be perfect victims as I formed my Son. I will place in their hearts the love of the Cross as the Father placed this love in the Heart of my Son and in mine.
My daughter, I want you to help each priest come to the Cross… Tell them to allow me to reveal to them the love of Jesus Crucified. It is only this love that has the power to transform. It is when each of my consecrated priests unite themselves, through my heart, to Love Crucified that the hearts of the faithful will be opened. —8/5/09, Simple Path #138 p. 370.
Mary becomes God’s instrument to continue the work of redemption in St. John, especially through the healing and formation of his heart. This includes the healing of his emotions, feelings, desires and his self-image. Jesus, the man, formed him; then Mary, the woman, completed the formation of his heart as only a woman can.
She is also his companion. The Lord said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18). No one is more apt to accompany and help man than the woman Mary. The relationship of Mary and St. John shows that Jesus meant the complementarity between man and woman to find expression, not only in marital relationships oriented towards having children, but also in spiritual relationships that bring spiritual life to many.
“Woman, behold, your son!” (Jn 19:26). This is the Mother and companion Jesus gives us. But Jesus also spoke to St. John, “Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’” (Jn 19:27). He can be blessed with the gift of Mary only if he responds with all his heart. He must “behold” her. John understood that, to behold Mary, meant to receive her; therefore, “from that hour the disciple took her to his own home” (Jn 19:27). She is not a mother whom we visit while keeping her at a distance. He took Mary into his own home, into his heart—a heart that belongs to Jesus—and allowed her to enter the intimacy of his priesthood.
Like St. John, every priest is called to love Mary and receive her into his heart:
Priests must love Mary with the same love, with the same tenderness, respect, obedience and fidelity, gratitude and purity with which I loved her…. Priests should appeal to Mary, begging her, imploring her to model them, feature by feature, in accordance with her Son Jesus… When I left the world… I left Mary to it, who represented Me in her virtues, in her tenderness, in her Heart, faithful echo of Mine… The newborn Church leaned on Mary… for the protection of a Mother and for her to be the channel where all grace of the Divine Spirit would pass to souls… At the foot of the Cross…. there Mary pronounced her second ‘fiat’ and accepted all humanity as children, but above all, the priests in St. John. —The Priesthood of Christ and the Ministerial Priesthood in the Experience and Message of Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, Juan Esquerda Bifet, 39.
Mary, now the Mother of the Church, remains to form St. John and Mary Magdalene in the school of her heart, as she does with each of us. We, like them, must be formed in the School of Love: The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In the new Adam and new Eve, Jesus and Mary, we find the perfect harmonious relationship. They are the model and source of grace for all renewed men and women. With Saint John and Mary Magdalene begins a new lineage of renewed men and women, cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb; new Adams and new Eves formed in the heart of the New Adam and the New Eve. It is the beginning of a covenant of love with Christ through Mary.
The following audio talk captures the heart and essence of how we are to imitate the relationship reflected by Jesus and Mary at the Cross.
🔗"The Cross is the Treasure" by Lourdes Pinto
The Work of a Spiritual Mother with her Priest-Son
An important aspect of the Marian dimension of the priesthood is the association of Mary to the sacrifice of Christ. As co-redemptrix, Mary offers Jesus to the Father and unites herself to His sacrifice:
Mary offered Me to the eternal Father to be crucified, and this was her greatest torture. —"The Priesthood of Christ"... Concepción Cabrera de Armida, 40.
A spiritual mother as one with the Mother of Sorrows helps her spiritual son-priest to be crucified as she unites herself to his crucifixion with Christ, as a pure offering to the Father.
The following letter written by a spiritual mother to her priest/son reveals the work of the Holy Spirit:
My Dear Father,
This is exactly where the Path leads us: to the beauty of the fullness of our restoration in Christ as the new men and women of the Kingdom of God!
He (St John Paul II in “Givenness”) writes about the word “helpmate” (Gn 2:18) as a, “Woman is given to man so that he can understand himself, and reciprocally man is given to woman for the same end.” How true this is in the GIFT of our communion. “God has given you to me.” “This awareness becomes a source of enrichment for each of us.” Yes, my dear Father, God has given you to me as my spiritual son and father, and also as my friend. You have enriched my life with the gift of your life as you have made yourself vulnerable to me and have received me into your heart. THANK YOU!!!
“Only someone who has dominion over himself can become a sincere gift for others.” God leads each of us through the narrow path of the Cross to have dominion over ourselves through the gift of self-knowledge and the knowledge that we are the “beloved” of God in Christ. This is what I read in your words to me in the last email. You are acquiring dominion over yourself, and therefore becoming more-and-more a gift for others!
“The beauty of the Transfiguration strengthened the Apostles, so they could endure the humiliating Passion of the Transfigured Christ. For beauty is a source of strength for man. It is inspiration for work, a light that guides us through the darkness of human existence and allows us to overcome all evil, all suffering, with good…” Thank you for reminding me in your last email that I am called to be the Maccabees mother encouraging her son to be martyred for God. I pray as St John Paul writes that the beauty of my femininity and maternity will be a source of strength for you to love as one with Christ to the extreme of the Cross!!!!
Below is a letter from a priest to his spiritual mother in which he opens his heart to her:
Dearest in Christ,
I think it's providential that I increasingly feel my incapacities and my human and Christian smallness. It's hard to recognize them. But they are everywhere. Incapacities to love, to communicate the Gospel, to be a father to the people with whom I interact pastorally. And that brings with it a temptation of distrust and inner sadness.
I try to see and feel the presence of God in my life, but it does not come. Or rather, it does not come as I would like. I must continue to be in purification. Walk in faith, even when the heart is lonely and overwhelmed, seeing the endless needs of the people. And in this inner path of trials, your messages are a balm and a light that God gives me. I thank you very much. God will say how long I will be in this phase and what is it that I should really learn and understand.
Your son asks your prayers and humbly blesses you, (Simple Path, p.388)