A year ago today, by total accident, I started ArtForTheSorrowfulHeart Etsy Shop. My director told me that it was important, in my own waiting, to do some type of work that would give glory to Our Lady. I believe this little shop and this blog have been this form of service for the Immaculata. It’s all for Her…. and I actually REALLY enjoy every minute of it! Below is the excerpt, taken from my Esty page, describing how Mary Magdalene has indeed been my friend; my sister. It is so fitting, that as we celebrate her feast today, I can tribute this anniversary to her.
But also some of my favorite pieces of art that I have enjoyed producing over the course of this past year: from holy cards, to stationary, notebooks, folders, videos and prints. I am SO blessed and I wanted to take the time to personally thank all my blog readers, those who donate monthly for my future anchorite vocation and of course for all those who have purchased items from my shop, as well as given me the most kind-hearted reviews.
By complete and total accident, I started this shop on Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day, July 22nd 2020. You will see why this is providential at the very end of this story.
God really fulfills all the desires of the heart; when I was little all I ever wanted to be was an artist and a photographer (that is, until I found out I couldn’t draw). It took me many years to discover that art truly comes in all forms. Putting this dream on the “back burner” I set out to major in animal science/veterinary medicine. Half way through school at Colorado State University I heard the call to leave everything and become a bride of Christ by entering a religious order. Just weeks into my junior year of college I took the biggest risk and found myself at a cross road: do I finish my degree or become a nun now?
On September 14th, 2015 my animal science advisor said the scary yet powerful sentence of “can I be honest with you? I never saw you at this school or this major. I think you should leave this school today, can I pray over you?”
I was not at all expecting these words, but to this day I have my animal science advisor to thank, as Our Lady used him as Her instrument to tell me what Her Son wanted of me. I obeyed and left school that day and I have been on a rollercoaster ride ever since- thankfully I have always loved rollercoasters and Our Lord has managed to gratify in every way possible, the thrill seeker in me. I entered the cloister of Carmel during the 100 year anniversary of Fatima and it was in Carmel where I discovered my passion for art being moved off the “back burner”, to the front. My love for designing holy cards was founded when the other sisters had their vows or clothing ceremonies approaching; I would raid the convent art room and hunt for the most unique pictures, stickers and colors I could find that complimented one another. I will never forget my novice mistress’ answer when asked what her favorite color was: “I don’t have a favorite color, I just like colors that go well together.”
This art carried over when I discovered a different calling to be a Carmelite Hermitess (anchorite), the way many of my favorite saints used to live: Saint Paul for three years lived in seclusion before preaching to the gentiles, Moses often went into seclusion to hear the Father directly before returning to the people to share God’s law and wisdom, before baptizing and preparing the way of the Lord John the Baptist was an austere hermit. The Prophet Elijah making his humble abode in a cave of Mount Carmel and after Our Lord’s Resurrection, what did Mary Magdalene do? She became an anchorite, she lived in a cave the rest of her days in total seclusion in France (you can google this cave, it’s incredible) and in order to be faithful to her solitude with Our Lord, the angels brought her the Eucharist everyday.
Part of my means of sustainable living will be selling homemade holy cards, stationary and prints. Photography has played a big part in making the listings look beautiful by enhancing the product in an artsy way. I have spent much of my time building and adding onto my website “Mary’s Secretary, Just Another Fool of the Immaculata!” where I promote this shop and write posts and produce videos for the glory of Our Lady of Fatima, Who I dedicate this page to. My hope is to live in a little hermitage, where my only exposure with the public will be my attendance at daily Latin Mass with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and Saint Maximillian’s Marian Vow. Outside of Mass and reciting the Carmelite Rite of the Divine Office and various other prayers- my work will be etsy and blogging.
All my different experiences over the years from my childhood, to dropping out of school and my experiences before and after Carmel have proven to me how “God likes the process, whereas we like the outcome” and how the mighty Saint Paul’s words of “all things happen for the good in a soul who loves God and are called according to His purpose.” It has also shown me how this very process is Our Lord’s greatest delight and how nothing is coincidence with Him and Mary; when you love Them and do all for Their glory, everything is providence!
“All for the Immaculata, nothing for me” ~Saint Maximilian Kolbe~
~END OF Etsy BIO~
I did a cover to the above video song, called Living Water by Vancouver Sleep Clinic, because the lyrics define so perfectly why I desire with all my heart to be an anchorite. I have “scoured all the world” and nothing filled me or satisfied me, the way Our Lord’s love does. I have been to Africa, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Rome, Canada and countless other beautiful places and NOTHING compares to the beauty I have seen in being entirely alone with Our Lord. Yet, He allowed me to see all these places, out of the goodness of His Heart, so when it came right down to it…. I could see for myself that true beauty can only be found in His Sacred Heart. I have learned more from silence and solitude than I ever had in traveling the world and going on long pilgrimages. I am grateful for all my experiences, but to be love in the heart of Church, I wouldn’t trade anything for it. I desire to offer my very self for our beloved Catholic Church and I am ready to fight for it, as well as give all for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!