We have developed the theme FIDELITY in a different way than the one presented in the other themes. When some of the sisters heard that a list of Themes was being worked out, they requested that this theme be presented in depth, because FIDELITY at times, is taken lightly and even, with serious misunderstandings.
In the dictionary we find that the term FIDELITY, is defined as a word that comes from the Latin, fidelitas, and it also refers to the exact or precise execution of an action. It is the virtue that fulfills a promise. It is an agreement which implies a series of responsibilities that must not be violated by anyone of the parts involved.
A faithful person is the one who fulfills his/her promise and is loyal despite of the passing of time and/or the circumstances. It presupposes following a project of life that was established because of the promise. Fidelity is related to confidence and being unconditionally faithful to a person. One is loyal to something but faithful to someone.
In Mother Margarita’s writings we don’t find an abundance of the use of such a word. Nevertheless, it is important to call to mind, that in her life, there are a series of CONSTANTS, which develop, grow and appear with much frequency all throughout her life.
In order to recall some of her constants, which exist from the beginning of her religious life until her death in 1934, we present here – only a few of them:
- Intimate knowledge, identification, and great love for Christ.
- Desire to glorify the Father.
- The salvation of humankind (she uses the world “souls”).
- That Jesus be better known and loved.
- Union with God.
- A continuous life of prayer
- The desire to live in truth.
- Humility, acceptance of her “poverty” and “nothingness”
- An exquisite charity with everyone.
- The desire to work of the Kingdom.
- , etc., etc.
We could add here, many etc., etc., etc., but this is not the scope of this catalogue. The CONSTANTS in Mother Margarita’s life, according to Fr. Zameza (Una Virgen Apostol – Second revised edition, pages 76,78,83,91-103) tells us that they were an itinerary towards God, which she journeyed for more than twenty years. She did it with decision, courage, constancy in her heart, where precisely God, had shown her the path that leads to him. It is a silent journey, almost invisible to people, yet caught by the eyes of those who had the joy to live very close to that person” as it was the case with Mother Margarita.
Some of the citations that contain the word FIDELITY as such are:
- All year long, I’ve had three prominent desires…one of them, to remain faithful to my life of prayer… (p. 22)
- What I find is little faithfulness in the gifts from God. (p. 38)
- I maintain my faithfulness to my intentions and desires. (p. 41)
- It has been about two years now since I gave myself to God in a new way, with faithfulness that only He knows how to provide. (p. 76)
- I’ve outline a detailed plan for following Christ. Throughout my life, I will be faithful to continuous prayer. I will have a harsh life by surrendering to my duties. I won’t ever give up when facing the constant work of distributing activities. I will give of my time to others without complaining, with a happy heart and face. I will quietly sacrifice only for Jesus. I want to surrender my life to love, without anyone noticing my continual sacrifices. I am determined to deprive myself of pleasures and comforts for the love of Christ. I want to be embraced by His Cross and to take pleasure in it. I want to bear my physical and mental maladies in silence and with the least amount of sleep that is necessary. I want to participate in a continual practice of giving. And now I begin without a break. I’ve lost so much time! There is so little left in my life! No comforts. Eternity is long. Loves purifies. I want to always love and center my heart on God. With the strength of the Holy Spirit, I’m going to move forward with this program without turning back. Forward, always forward, while my life lasts. (p. 201)
- … They should have their eyes cast upon God, in continual prayer, and be faithful to the Holy Spirit who guides and strengthens them. (p. 235)
- I have a great desire to grow in spirit and a life of faith. I want to live inwardly, adjust my judgment to the inline with that of Jesus, and not to have any other goal in life other than the will of God. I want to love it, cherish it, and live to comply with the will of God. I want to rise above human deference and comforts. I want to dismiss the sadness that happens to me as a result of my lack of health. I want to suffer. I want to give myself without limit and wholeheartedly to my daughters. (p. 239)
- A day of faithfulness and surrender… (p. 250)
- A full day. Faithful to the responsibilities of my position… (p. 250)
Other citations could be the following, because they also express her FIDELITY: I have decided, I am trying to, I have strong desires, I desire, I am thinking of, I continue looking for…
Augusto Hortal, S.J., has said (Berriz 2016) that “FIDELITY is that which the Lord askes of us, and if we are faithful, he remains in us”. This was true, in Mother Margarita. Thus, continues Hortal, “we also need to be faithful to oneself, because this legitimates to act according to our desires, caprices, and wants. Fidelity to oneself, means to be faithful to the Mission entrusted to us by the Father, in order to respond to God’s dream for us. We must be persons which combine the awareness of one´s own weakness, with the security that trust and confidence give”. This was true, in Mother Margarita.
We present now, some of the writings of Mother Margarita which speak of FIDELITY in this context of Augusto Hortal.
- I have resolved to delve into… (p. 18)
- I need to make… (p. 18)
- I can do anything… (p. 19)
- I am determined to choose the most arduous… (p. 20)
- I have also decided to love… (p. 21)
- I am resolved… (p. 21)
- I’ve experienced that… (p. 36)
- I’m at peace… (p. 38)
- I feel unenthusiastic, or better yet cold… (p. 45)
- I began thinking about… (p. 55)
- With a determined will… (p. 58)
- I pray laboriously. It seems very difficult to achieve inner peace… (p. 61)
- I have intense desires… (p. 77)
- Praying is difficult, but… (p. 78)
- Now I can clearly see… (p. 81)
- Everything that I need… (p. 94)
- During yesterday’s retreat… (103)
Mª Isabel Artadi tells us, in her “Our Institute, Fruit of God’ Action in Mother Margarita”, “that during the last years of her life, once her missionary dream for which she fought and worked, and the Institute was already approved, and several mission house and one in Bilbao had been stablished, she continues her journey towards the plenitude of her being. The three last years are of much richness and fecundity, and she wants to leave it as her inheritance to her beloved Institute.
All throughout her life one can see her desires to follow Jesus and glorify the Father, to bring salvation to the entire world: how many times she talks about the salvation of the souls, of her desires to identify herself with the cross of Jesus, to welcome the inspirations from God and a faithful response, her joy in doing good, her happiness even in the midst of difficulties, her total abandonment and trust in God.
This fidelity to God continues and the Lord does not diminish his generosity. One aspect of the most significant aspects in her writings of that time, can be labeled as HER RESPONSE AND FIDELITY TO GOD, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF HER POOR HEALTH”.
Here are some of her writings, yet some of them do not appeared in A Journey of Transformation.
- “Desires for more faithfulness. Desires to love and to satisfy Go even in little things. He takes care of me as if I were his possession. An increase in trust”. (p. 241)
- “I’ve placed all my peace, trust security, and rest in God. A time of testing is approaching and great responsibilities fall upon me. Now more than ever I need and unwavering faith, a profound sense of humility, and a life of prayer”. (p. 242)
- “Fatigue gets the best of me these days. Sadness and discouragement attacks me. I feel like I´m losing my optimism, my enthusiasm, and my greatness of spirit. Trivial things bother me and I’m extremely sensitive. I need to be energized… With the grace of God, I will try to take on my jobs without giving importance to any setback and, above all, I will try not to be discouraged if I cannot achieve what I set out to do… With a happy heart, I want to give of myself to God and to my tasks all at all times”. (p. 243)
- “The dominant inspiration of this month, has been to dedicate myself completely to prayer… Total surrender to others, with much affection and without any shortcut. This what God is asking me in prayer. Good flavor in the knowledge of Christ and much love to his doctrine…” Nov. 1, 1932.
- I feel zest and joy from the Christian Prayer. God communicates his graciousness to me. He gives me an intense desire to live in love with happiness for others on the forefront of my mind”. (p. 246)
- “A full day… faithful to the responsibilities of my position… I feel intense jo for having done good work, for encouraging, directing, motivating, and opening horizons…” (p. 250)
- “When I can I’ll make an extra half hour of prayer in order to talk to Jesus about my duties and examine them with him. I’ll ask love of the cross and knowledge of his Sacred Passion”.
- “… summing up the Spiritual Exercises… my desires are: love of the cross, praying and acting daily… Strong will: to be faithful to God cost what it may.
- “My desire to unite with Christ is very intense, clear and concrete. I try to imitate His nature, and in all my activities I seek the expansion of the Kingdom of God within me and within everyone that is under my care”. (p.271)
- “It’s a stormy day full of suffering… It’s hard to engender Christ and it’s good to feel pain… (p. 290)
- “I have a chronic duodenal ulcer. The doctor recommends surgery, Fiat. I feel that God is giving me a sense of peace and trusting surrender… Inasmuch as He lifts His hand I will find strength within me… Thank you, Lord, do with my life and my health, as you wish! Give me your love and grace, and with that I am satisfied!” (p. 294)
- “This illness, I believe, has helped me. It allowed me to prove to God, our Father, that I love him as a Father of my soul, living every mindful of His will, and that this will of His is the only thing that is great and gracious to me. It’s also been a constant exercise of placing myself in His hands… I want to live cheerfully inside and out. I want to make good use of the time God give me and be ready when He finally calls me to cast myself into His arms forever – in an act of supreme abandonment. What a joy! So be it”. (p. 301)