How did the Home of the Mother come about?
The Home of the Mother has grown and developed with time. It isn’t a foundation that was defined from the beginning; this would have meant suffocating the charism. We are all convinced that the Home of the Mother is precisely “of the Mother” and we are simply instruments. She is the one who shows us each next step we have to take.
How have you transmitted the work?
I received the charism and endeavoured to transmit it to everyone: the Defense of the Eucharist, the Defense of the Honor of Our Blessed Mother, especially in the Privilege of Her Virginity, and the Conquest of the Youth for Jesus Christ.
After my ordination, I began to surround myself with young people. My priority was to cultivate their spiritual life, so that they might live in the grace of God, and show them the way to be close to Our Lord and Our Heavenly Mother. I encouraged them to lead a serious prayer life, to confess frequently, to receive daily Communion if possible, and to pray at least one mystery of the Rosary each day. The commitments which we now have were articulated little by little.
This is how the first group, the Home of the Mother of the Youth, was formed. The female branch began on the 29th of July, 1982 and the male branch on the 27th of December, 1983. Both began at the tomb of St. Peter, as a sign of our fidelity to the Catholic Church in the person of the Pope.
How did this group of young people develop?
When they grew up, they had to make certain decisions. Their first decision was to pursue a college degree. As most of them were from Toledo and had to go to Madrid to study, they had to decide between being dispersed in colleges, in flats or residences, or else to begin a small residence themselves where they could live together according to the same spirituality. This was the first important step.
The second important step was the foundation of the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother on the 22nd of September of 1984. A small group of these girls wanted to devote themselves totally to live in plenitude the triple mission of the Home. The first girls were Mother Ana, Sister Reme and Sister Conchi.
What is the spirituality of the Home?
We experience the spirituality of the Home as a gift from God and Our Blessed Mother. We are a little plant which is still developing; each day we discover new aspects and dimensions of this spirituality.
Our spirituality springs from the three specific missions we have: the Defense of the Eucharist, the Defense of the Honor of Our Mother, especially in the privilege of Her Virginity, and the Conquest of the Youth for Jesus Christ. Our spirituality is therefore:
Eucharistic: The Eucharist is the center of our whole life. In It we find our strength, “Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you” (I Kings 19:7). We love It and try to make It loved through the daily celebration of the Eucharist, through adoration, etc.
Marian: Mary is Our Mother, Model and Teacher and we experience that she is very close to us. With the Scapular, we place ourselves under the maternal protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Apostolic: Mainly with youth, with the Eucharist and Our Lady as the fundamental ways to encounter Jesus Christ.
The Home of the Mother is a “home”, a family... in which the Blessed Virgin is the mother.
The Home is the gift of Our Lord to His Mother. That is why we want to perfect ourselves, ceaselessly imitating Her dispositions and interior attitudes of donation, charity and abandonment into God’s hands.
Our soul is a sanctuary exclusively of God where our covenant with Our Lord and the Blessed Mother takes place. Our Lady lives in us and among us, manifesting Herself through us, if we let her. The sanctuaries we want to build in Her honor have to be a manifestation of the sanctuary of our soul.
Another characteristic of our spirituality is that it is Carmelite. The Carmelite Sprituality is characterized by the search for union with God on the summit of the Mount, where only the glory of God reigns. That union is reached through the “nothings”, leaving creatures aside and devoting oneself completely to seeking union with God.
Fidelity to God is another aspect of our spirituality. Nowadays there is a great fear of committing oneself to God and of continuing on a path of faithfulness to Him. Many people do not know God precisely because of their infidelity. Fidelity to God always implies the Cross, suffering, but through it the Lord helps us to discover the complete meaning of life, as well as the meaning of the sufferings that we may undergo. As St. Paul said: “I complete in me what is lacking in the redemption of Christ for His Church” (Col. 1:24).
We want to live abandoned to God and trusting completely in Him, totally disposed to do whatever he desires.The fruit of this is true joy, union, and an unselfish love of the Church.
The goal of all the members of the Home must be the identification with Jesus Christ and the transformation in Him from the maternal arms of Mary.
Years after founding the Home, how do you see things now?
Things have happened that I hadn’t foreseen; the Holy Spirit is unpredictable. It is not we who guide God’s works, it is God himself who guides them; we do enough when we disturb as little as possible what the Lord is doing. Of course I am surprised when I look back at everything that has happened.
Perhaps, as regards the Home of the Mother, I am a qualified spectator of what God is doing. And as a privileged spectator, I am also absolutely astonished by the growth of the Lay Members. And another motive of hope is the progressive stabilization of the Home of the Mother of the Youth, the participation of the young people in the various activities that we hold.
How do you interpret the following sentence: “You cannot give life without suffering”?
The sentence is quoted from Fr. Kentenich, the Founder of SchönstattIt. I came across it in my spiritual reading and it is a sentence that impressed me so much that I have frequently repeated it in many homilies and talks. Our experience in the Home has been the same, not only for me but for all those who more closely participated in the creation of the Home. As the Home is spiritual life, that is, it engenders life in the soul, it inevitably implies sorrows and sufferings. We saw this lived out by Jesus Christ and He Himself warned us: ”The disciple is not greater than his master, and if I have been persecuted, you too will be persecuted; if my words have been retained, yours also will be retained” (Jn. 15:20). The price of life, therefore, is suffering, and those who are not disposed to suffer, will never be able to engender life.
To conclude, what advice would you give to our readers?
I can only say that the person who opens himself entirely to God is usually much happier, even in the midst of suffering and persecution. Therefore, if there is one thing I would say, it is to open yourselves to God. In a sentence which impressed me a lot, the Pope said, “Only the eternal can fill the human heart”. If there is any conclusion that can be drawn from this, not from what I say but from the Pope’s fine observation, it is that people should open themselves to God. As the Scripture says: “Look, I am at the door and I call. If someone opens, I will enter and we will eat together” (Rev. 3, 20).
So let us not be foolish and let us open wide the doors to Our Lord who is the only one who can satisfy us. Everything else can be deduced from this. What is meant by opening oneself to God? It means to meditate on His Words, to receive them into your heart, to put them into practice, to lead an honest life, to fulfill the Ten Commandments, to receive the Sacraments to grow in the divine life, to discover Him in the poor, in the needy, in our neighbor, etc..