I put together a short (3 minutes at most) iMovie from my time in the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as Sister Rosa Maria of the Sorrowful Heart. There have been some joyful and sorrowful memories but I am ultimately grateful for all I learned there. Today is the anniversary of the day I stepped foot in the cloister, three years ago, on this glorious feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle.
The truth is, I grew up in Carmel. I can confidently say I am a complete different person now then who I was the day I crossed the cloister threshold. I didn’t need to travel the world to endure this change, I simply needed to be still, to enter into the silence and the discipline of the hidden enclosure walls of Carmel (“the garden without time”) to enter into the One Heart, the Sorrowful Heart of Jesus and Mary- those Hearts are not really Two at all, it’s much more intimate than that. I left a little over a year ago and this year has ultimately shown me my true desire to be alone with Our Lord as His future bride in a more traditional and secluded way like that of the early desert fathers (and some heroic women too, I might add) who left everything (everyone) to be alone with the Master, the Prince really: a life without a community. This doesn’t really mean no community at all, I see it as a Divine Community if you will, one with the Trinity, the Angels and the Saints- with Mary!
Conversing “no longer with men, but with Angels”, as Our Lord so famously told Our Holy Mother Teresa of Jesus. Isn’t that merely what heaven is? Is it so astonishing that perhaps I want to live heaven on earth? I wanted to share my gratitude and my love for all of the sisters, my prior fellow novices in particular and how with all my heart I will never forget what they taught me; they will always be my sisters. I firmly believe Our Lady placed me in Her Holy order of Carmel to form me in Her garden of delight, She is merely uprooting this garden enclosed and planting me somewhere else by taking the glorious customs with me and seeking with everything that I have a life of total seclusion as a Carmelite Hermitess under Canon Law 603 as Sister Jade Mary of the Sorrowful Heart under bishop approval. I only wish to use this blog and Etsy for Her glory and be Her humble and lowly slave of love- “all for the Immaculata, nothing for me” as the original fool of Mary said (Saint Maximilian Kolbe). God reward you for the support, prayers and for buying art from our Etsy shop! I was told by my previous Carmelite Confessor (now current Spiritual Director) that I needed to find some type of work that would give glory to Our Lady so as to not remain idle, now as I wait and in the future- I can carry over this work into the life as an Anchoress. I very much believe this has been found through blogging and Etsy over the course of this year of maturity, waiting and growth.
Patience is not about the waiting; it’s about how one behaves IN the waiting.
I specifically chose the song in the iMovie because the lyrics are more than meaningful to me; this life is a true valley of tears but for the life of a Catholic, suffering is for multiple reasons and one of those is certainly to remind us that this land is not our true home. We certainly don’t belong here. As Our Lady of Kibeho said- “we are only temporary travelers” or Our Lady of Lourdes in “I cannot promise to make you happy in this life, only in the next.” When I was a child (and this is still a habit in the present) I don’t know why I always found comfort in this, but whether I was at school, at home or with a friend I would stop and look at the trees out the window to see if the leaves on the branches were moving. If I couldn’t find at least one tree or one bush that was moving from the wind I would look until I saw the branches move, sometimes I was there for a long time waiting, but I can actually only count a few times in not seeing any movement. I could always count on this!
I still remember so vividly being in my fourth grade classroom of Mrs. Barker’s working on a project, with all my classmates, and just stopping in the middle of all the chaos to look out the classroom window where a line of tall pine trees were my view; I looked in hopes of seeing her branches move for me. There was something so comforting in the movement of the trees or the leaves. When I entered Carmel, the sister who took care of the postulants, said that Carmelites take great comfort in seeing running water because it’s a great reminder that all things are passing; moving onward. Of course I immediately understood why I felt the same way about the tree branches, it was the movement- that while I was in that moment appearing to be still, everything was still moving. I needed/need to see that! To this day, when I am really suffering something out of my control I still stop to look out the window with great hope that I will see the trees moving- a great reminder that “all things are passing, God alone suffices”.
Song Lyrics to the video:
How does a moment last forever?
How can a story never die?
It is love we must hold onto
Never easy, but we try
Sometimes our happiness is captured
Somehow, our time and place stand still
Love lives on inside our hearts and always will
Minutes turn to hours, days to years then gone. But when all else has been forgotten
Still our song lives on
Maybe some moments weren’t so perfect
Maybe some memories not so sweet
But we have to know some bad times
Or are lives are incomplete
Then when the shadows overtake us
Just when we feel all hope is gone
We’ll hear our song and know once more
Our love lives on
How does a moment last forever? How does our happiness endure?
Through the darkest of our troubles
Love is beauty, love is pure
Love pays no mind to desolation
It flows like a river through the soul. Protects, perceives, and perseveres
And makes us whole
Minutes turn to hours, days to years then gone
But when all else has been forgotten
Still our song lives on
How does a moment last forever
When our song lives on….