When Our Lady Gives You Actual Signs…

Even now, as I await beginning the ancient call of the desert fathers, I do all I can to only go out in the public for the Holy Sacrifice of the Latin Mass or for confession. However, my Mom was urging me to spend time with her by at least sitting in the car and not leaving the “enclosure” of the vehicle. Our Lady is full of glorious wonder because a few things happened. As we were driving, I was reminded of what happened in 2017 when I was living in Santa Cruz with my Mom, before entering Carmel. As I began telling her the story, she marveled. She remembered I used to walk long miles to Mass and how the side streets were relatively familiar to me as well (there was even a Jade Street!). Well, on one particular day a little after realizing I was not called to the Poor Clare’s of the Immaculate, I sensed a very strong pull to the desert of Carmel. But… I wanted a definite sign from Our Lady. The day I was walking was a true miracle, because as I was making my trek home I found my heart wandering to Carmel again and simply asked Our Lady to show me if it was Her will for me to pursue Her Order. Low and behold, and this is no hyperbole either, I looked up to the next street, not a minute or two later, and see this…

As you have seen, in former posts, I absolutely despise the use of the word “literally” because it is either overused or simply used the wrong way but in this case I cannot help but say Our Lady LITERALLY gave me a sign. I do not think it is mere coincidence that not only was it Carmel Street, but Carmel and 7th Street; the Scapular of Mount Carmel dates back to none other than the 7th century and there are “7” Sorrows of Mary. Seven is the obvious sign of perfection and it was a consolation that I cannot describe when I looked up and saw that sign four years ago. It was a powerful reminder, as if Our Lady wanted to show me yet again, that Carmel is on the horizon. So, as I was spending a day of quality time with my Mom, desired by Our Lady, my Mom was thrilled to help me hunt down the sign and stop so I could take pictures of Carmel and 7th Street; she was just as excited as I was (believe me)! It was such a joy to see that same sign again, as I await the next step in the religious journey as a Carmelite Hermitess, and spend quality time with my dear Mom who knows that every moment is precious. I have enjoyed every day under my Mother’s roof thus far and I know I will look back and thank Our Lord for giving us this time together before “getting my things and heading where the daylight reigns”.

In the future I would only listen to Gregorian Chant, Sacred Music or Classical etc. on first or second class feast days. However, I know it was the glorious will of the Immaculata to introduce me to Vancouver Sleep Clinic during my times of waiting. Their first album Winter ( lyrics remind me very much of the “dark night”) was there for me when I heard the call to Carmel in 2017. Their second album Revival assisted me during the “limbo” of Discalced Carmelite to Carmelite Hermitess, and their last album Zion (which is by far my favorite) seems to be there for my final home stretch. I have reached out to thank the artist, Tim Bettinson, who’s slogan is “Soli Gloriae Domine” (glory to God alone) because Our Lord spoke so much through his songs that I always think of Our Lord singing these beautiful melodies to console His brides in times of sorrow and uncertainty. In short, these lyrics as well, if I could have words to relay the work that has taken place in my own soul these last five years, I would simply point to their songs and say “this is what Our Lord is doing inside my soul”. These albums have been apart of the process of stages of the war against powers and principalities and the Bridegroom extending His hand to encourage the bride on her path of union. Zion reminds me of the last few stanzas in Our Holy Father John of the Cross’ Living Flame of Love poem, when the bride battled everything for her Beloved, namely, the battle against self, conquered her interior and became one with her Bridegroom.

Which of course leads me to the second part of the day spent with my Mom; I remembered an old Catholic Gift Shop in the very heart of Santa Cruz, and even though it was not Mass or Confession, Catholic stores are like candy shops for me; I had to go inside. My dear Grandmother recently reminded me that I needed to, every once in a while, reread the material that made me want to be an anchorite. The day prior I had fininished a Novena to John of the Cross and one of the stanzas in his poem, the one formely mentioned, was the very line that seemed to “seal the envelope” in leading me to the desert of the Magdalen when I read his words, from the bride, on solitude. I walked into the bookstore, automatically being drawn to all things Carmelite, I saw a very large book of 813 pages compiled of all of John’s writings, letters and poetry. How could I resist? There was one copy left and it was calling my name. When I made it to the check-stand the lady said, “oh, are you familiar with John of the Cross?” I wanted to say, “AM I FAMILIAR WITH JOHN OF THE CROSS? What kind of question is that?” but I restrained myself and simply said something along the lines of, “Yes… you could say that”. We made it back to the car and I decided to open the book at random; only a few pages over did I see none other than my favorite line staring at me, with the explanation of what the bride went through and why, “in the solitude”. My eyes widened… but I wanted to spend the rest of the car ride with my Mom, so reading was more or less out of the question. Later that evening, as I was going through some of my art supplies for etsy, again… I found a cut out printed sheet of an old holy card I tucked away from 2020… of the same stanza. “God must want me to read this poem again or something.”

Needless to say, it was a joyous day with my beloved Mom. I have learned some valuable lessons in Santa Cruz, everytime I stay with her, before crucial steps in my life are taken. I will always remember this time with you, Mom- you are so loved and cherished by myself and Our Lady.

I want to end with the song by Vancouver Sleep Clinic and the song that kept popping up the most these last few weeks. The lyrics remind me of the great battle that is taking place within that nobody but Our Lord can see, and even though the soul looks the same on the outside, in the interior at every moment she is being tranformed by the Hand of the Creator. She is detached from earthly goods and wants to spend the rest of her days making it up to Him. Here is Into The Sun; the footage is taken from the view from my Mom’s home. I have certainly been spoiled by Our Lady with some of these landscapes!

Into the abyss


I’m afraid of dying (daily death to self)
I’m afraid of love
I’m afraid of never trying
And of not being enough
Don’t know what’s on the horizon
Don’t know who to trust
I’mma run this ’till it’s finished
‘Till it’s rubble and dust

I’m afraid of flying
Crash into the sun
I’m afraid of never rising
To be the one that they want
But I’m out here in the wild now
With nowhere else to run
So I’mma wing it with no pilot
To the kingdom that comes

I always abandon myself, and I don’t know why
I feel I’m getting stronger
I feel I’m getting free
Always neglecting myself, and I don’t know why
I feel I’m getting stronger
I feel I’m getting free

Get my things
I’m tired of making old mistakes
Trynna fill a vacant space
There’s something that I need
Took my things
Knew I had to make a change
I’m headed where the daylight reigns
Feel I’m getting free

And when the candle flickers light
Then I know I still got time
And when the candle’s burning bright
I know I still got time

And I’m sorry Father (God the Father)
I’m sorry Mother (Mary)
If I let you down
If I let you down
And I’m sorry sister (saints)
I’m sorry brother ( saints)
If I let you down
If I let you down