I am working on a project and this is the only section I want to share a snippet of, because I believe it is this urgent:
In Jane Austen’s book Persuasion, the novel’s heroine has a notable discussion with a sea captain; he is relaying to her the “many books” that have been written on the “fickleness and inconstancy” of women. This humble maiden replies: “and are not they all written by men?” I despise feminism; it is an error of Russia to be sure! Fatima experts have confirmed this truth. This, however, does not mean that I doubt the undeniably precious role of women, and that main character of Jane Austen’s makes a brilliant point. A dear friend of mine, who is also a member of the United States Military (God bless him for his heroic service to our great Nation) said this to me: “People talk about the service that the military does for our country, but no one talks about the indispensable service our religious sisters do”. If the role of the bride of Christ is misunderstood, or worse… seldom mentioned… we need to ask ourselves “why”. Perhaps this is because the precious role of women, mainly that of nuns, is not elevated enough. When something, or someone’s, worth is not recognized or even known then they ultimately wish they could be something they are not. What do I mean by this?
Mother Mary Francis, in her book A Right to be Merry, said that all women really need to know- whether a bride of Christ or mother of a home- is that she is loved, cherished and chosen. This indeed has not been the case with our religious sisters. During Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing, to become the ninth member of the supreme court, she indeed showed her Catholic values of being a devoted mother of seven children, pro-life warrior, and revealed the most awe-inspiring disposition of character I have seen in a female; I was impressed to say the least. My former Spiritual Director was even so bold as to say that “she was hand-picked by Mary”. But I cringed when she told the senators this:
“I tell my daughters, anything men do women can do better”.
The female character from The Lord of the Rings, Éowyn is the ideal example of discovering the freedom that comes with understanding her own role, rather than doing what the men in her kingdom can do. That is right, freedom! Liberation! Éowyn disguised herself as a man, went to battle with her kin, but only during the fight did she come to understand what it truly means to be a woman. She simply desired to fight for those she loves; we see this with great women such as Joan of Arc. Éowyn called herself “shieldmaiden”:
Grave and thoughtful was her glance, as she looked on the king with cool pity in her eyes. Very fair was her face, and her long hair was like a river of gold. Slender and tall she was in her white robe girt with silver; but strong she seemed and stern as steel, a daughter of kings. With the hobbit Merry Brandybuck, she rides into battle and kills the Witch-King of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgûl, in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. This fulfils the Macbeth-like prophecy that he would not be killed by a man. Not knowing that she is really a woman, he boasts “No living man may hinder me”, whereupon Éowyn removes her helmet and declares: But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.
The Nazgûl leader’s flying steed attacks Éowyn, but she kills it, cutting off its head with her sword. The Nazgûl then shatters her shield and breaks her shield-arm with his mace, but is distracted by Merry, who stabs him behind the knee with a barrow-blade. Éowyn seizes the opportunity to strike the Nazgûl with a killing thrust “between crown and mantle”. Then, as her sword shatters, his withering form collapses, and he vanishes with a final cry of anguish. Éowyn passes out from the pain in her arm and is believed dead until Prince Imrahil realizes she still lives. Éowyn is brought to the Houses of Healing, hovering near death from the effects of having struck the Nazgûl. Her outlook on life also changes: Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or at last she understood it. … “I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor be with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer and love all things that grow and are not barren.”
Everything lies in these two phrases:
- “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman.”
- “Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or at last she understood it.”
Satan fears two things from women: when they understand their role, know that it is different than the role of men, and in turn see their worth in the eyes of God- this produces a humble confidence in the daughter of the Creator that terrifies the fallen angel of light. Because in this realization, she is no longer slave of the snake, but possesses the power to defeat him. I heard a chilling homily, given by a Latin Mass priest, on the power of women who imitate Mary. He compared the actions of Judith, decapitating the evil King’s head, to Mary crushing the head of the snake. Both demonstrate great power in being faithful to God and destroying evil. It is quite remarkable! But women can only have this power over the serpent IF and WHEN they stop trying to achieve the role of men; it is not our affair- we do not need to do what they do, nor do we need to “do it better”.
We are on the same battlefield to be sure, and we can only win the war against evil if the sexes are in perfect understanding of these differences, thus creating a harmony; a harmony that took place before the Fall. There is a line that must be drawn between the distinct and separate battles that men and women are called to fight. They are unique and separate for a purpose. Our Lord, the New Adam, and Mary, the New Eve, fought back-to-back, in perfect harmony. Our Lady with the seven swords and Our Lord with the nails and crown of thorns. What does all this have to do with Fatima? Again, as mentioned in the introduction, Mary said that “Russia would spread her errors”. Many see this main flaw to be communism, free-masonry, and the sexual revolution, which are all evil to be sure, but I believe the greatest evil to be feminism. The Marxists knew this great truth; they said the downfall of society would depend on women’s descent. Maximilian Kolbe called the head of the snake free masonry; well, I will call the rattler feminism, because it is deadly.
You know that expression, “behind every great man is a great woman”? Many feminists say, “I am not behind him, I am next to him”. This is taken entirely to the extreme, is it not? The original quote is a mighty compliment as God the Father created man to have a helper, and as Carmelite Edith Stein so brilliantly said:
And behind every good priest, is a faithful Carmelite nun- any contemplative sister for that matter. If there are bad priests in the world, it is because holy brides of Christ are a rare gem to behold. I am speaking directly to, about, and for, brides of Christ. In short, nuns have been forgotten, misunderstood, and kicked to the curb. I do not say this lightly; many priests preach on vocations to the priesthood and the holy calling to be a wife and mother, all the while speaking little, if at all, on women who leave all to follow Mary’s spiritual Motherhood and Virginity.
And as I began speaking of all the books written on women being at the hand of men… would it really make sense for nuns to write books on the priesthood? It would not. Carmelite Teresa of Jesus (Avila) experienced the pain of being misunderstood by the clergy, as she had more than twenty or so spiritual directors throughout her life, that much to her dismay they believed her prayer experiences to be demonic. Rather, they were not Satanic, they were merely misunderstood by the priests. Teresa should not only be a model for Carmelites but all women who seek to embrace their precious role in the eyes of God, in this case specifically brides of the Lamb. After suffering so much misunderstanding, not just by mere men, but the priests she had this to say:
When Thou wert in the world, Lord, Thou didst not despise women, but didst always help them and show them great compassion. Thou didst find more faith and no less love in them than in men, and one of them was Thy most Sacred Mother, from whose merits we derive merit, and whose habit we wear, though our sins make us unworthy to do so. We can do nothing in public that is of any use to Thee, nor dare we speak of some of the truths over which we weep in secret, lest Thou shouldst not hear this our petition. Yet, Lord, I cannot believe this of Thy goodness and righteousness, for Thou are a righteous Judge, not like judges in the world, who, being, after all, men and sons of Adam, refuse to consider woman’s virtue as above suspicion. Yes, my King, but the day will come when all will be known. I am not speaking on my own account, for the whole world is already aware of my wickedness, and I am glad that it should be known; but, when I see what the times are like, I feel it is not right to repel spirits which are virtuous and brave, even though they be the spirits of women.
When Teresa spoke of “suspicion”, this is exceedingly important to note because it is as if women, when showing any sign of real holiness, are automatically rebuked rather than taken seriously; I believe this is linked to the Fall. As Eve really did fall under the influence of the serpent, and then led Adam astray, so too are men today, even priests, hesitant as seeing experiences in prayer, as in the case of Teresa, of God rather than demonic. However, are we forgetting the virtue of Mary as the New Eve? God restores more wondrously than He creates. Teresa did not become Doctor of the Church because she proved that she could perform the role of Adam; rather, she followed in the footsteps of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and crushed the head of the serpent rather than converse with it. But do you not find it exceedingly sad that her greatest enemies were often the priests?
Men, and above all priests, must take this to heart because the bride of the Lamb cannot be understood if she is disregarded or suspected. Teresa of Jesus never would have suffered this from the clergy if they sought to understand the divine and distinct intimacy that Our Lord has predestined in the heart of His brides. In Blessed Anne Emmerich’s four volume set of The Life of Jesus Christ, the Blessed describes what she saw take place between Our Lord and Saint Peter when the Magdalen had her conversion. Mary Magdalen, who Our Lord revealed to be “full of compassion”, rebuked the Apostles when they did not like Mary Magdalen and the other women following them around. It is important to note that it was not proper for women to be doing this, especially in those times, but Peter, the first Pope and priest of Our Lord was said to have shown outward signs of irritation at Mary Magdalen’s love for the Son of God. Anne describes how Our Lord told His Apostles to “let them [the women] alone, it is not your affair!”
The despicable heresies of Our Lord and the Magdalen having relations is treacherous and a heresy started by Satan himself. The Magdalen became so pure, such a model of penance for future brides that she lived the rest of her days in a cave of total seclusion in France as an anchorite. In order to remain faithful to her solitude, the angels brought her the Eucharist every day. Yet, in the beginning, Christ’s own Apostles misunderstood her and the women who sought to follow Our Lord. These were holy women indeed! Did they not know that it was the Magdalen’s prayers that rose Lazarus from the dead? Somewhere along the way, the Apostles clearly had a conversion; perhaps this was AFTER all but one of them, namely John, who did not abandon Our Lord during His darkest hour, saw the true virtue and strength of women who stood by the cross. These Apostles, thereafter, clearly sought to elevate the role of women who follow The Blessed Virgin Mary, as these very same chosen twelve looked to Mary as Queen of Apostles.
I once saw a book left in a pew, after a woman’s retreat at a Latin Mass Chapel in Northern California, about the “vocation of woman” and I sighed a breath of sadness for a couple of reasons:
- It was written by a man, a priest (I do not say this in a feminist manner; nay, but as Teresa lamented… so few men, even priests, understand the heart of the woman).
- The book hardly, if ever, spoke of nuns- the brides of Christ. Only wives and mothers- this is a real problem. I see no shortage of wives; I say that with all love as I respect and revere the sacrament of marriage, but there is a real scarcity of traditional nuns because they are seldom preached by the clergy.
Women should NEVER have a role at the altar during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; neither should lay-men, as only those with “consecrated hands” should perform Our Lord’s precious sacrifice. That above book I mentioned made a notable statement, written by the priest, with how women becoming “eucharistic ministers”, not veiling, being reader etc. is very dangerous to the nature of woman. That was incredibly moving, and I agree 100% with that statement. The problem is, when the woman does not have the affirmation that she is “loved, cherished or chosen” in her unique role of mother or bride of Christ, she will seek the role of man to gain the affirmation in a different manner; this is egregious! It is likened to what happened to Eve, she spoke to the snake, but where was Adam? He should have been by her side, so she never would have had the opportunity to be tempted. There seems to be two drastic movements with the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo:
-The New Mass is pushing for women to perform duties they were never meant to touch.
-The Traditional Latin Mass… speaks of wives, mothers, and priestly vocations, but nuns are seldom mentioned.
There is no medium between the two. One either opposes or does not mention (Old Mass priests) the bride or radically wants to corrupt her (New Mass priests). There is no balance… no harmony. The nuns are forgotten!
In Therese of the Child Jesus’ time, homeschooling was a rare occurrence because the nuns were in the classroom; for many years it was the religious sisters, found in their beautiful traditional habits, educating the young minds. This is no more, and it is a travesty. Let us not fail to mention the contemplative, cloistered and eremitical vocations of sisters (who now the Vatican seeks to destroy) who were always seen as “love in the heart of the Church”. This message is directly to the clergy: my heart cries out to the priests, the shepherds, to dedicate retreats and homilies on how urgent it is that we also have young women leaving all, upon hearing: Veni Sponsa Christi!” And when these women, in response, make this “Fiat” in imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may these same members of the clergy love, understand and cherish their vocation as prayer warriors, teachers, and brides of the Son of God. How come Our Lord understood this precious role, but His Apostles did not?
There was a time I had the opportunity to go on a women’s retreat, during my transition from Discalced Carmelite to Carmelite Hermitess, given by a zealous community of Latin Mass priests and sadly, I did not attend. Why? Because I knew in my heart they would speak only to wives and mothers and fail to dive down deep into the vocation of a bride of Christ, and if they did, I knew they would only scratch the surface. Quite frankly, the brides of the Lamb need to be fed spiritually in their vocations, and it is extremely disappointing, and boring, when the priest puts them on the same level as the average “cafeteria Catholic”. Why is this happening? This grieves my heart, because if we see many young men entering the seminary, but very few women choosing the celibate state, then somewhere along the way nuns have fallen into the cracks. Though there be many priests and seminarians, I fear that there will not be a quantity of good ones because the contemplative nuns are their backbone- “their helper”- and if they are scarce, well then this is the problem.
How this is the greatest delight of Satan in seeing this spiritual beating to the nuns! I am very much including teaching and missionary sisters as well; they are precious and needed in the Church. Our Lord knows the power of Christ’s pure brides who give all- they have the power of Judith! Their tears are united and liken to the tears that flow from the Sorrowful cheeks of Mary. Scripture describes such women to “laugh in the latter day”. Their prayers bring forth fruit in the bosom of the Church, holy priests bloom forth as roses as a result of their sacrifices, and this fruit creates an aroma of peace for families in the world. If there is a lack of peace in any nation or in the Catholic Church, it is because there is a shortage of Christ’s beloved brides.
Even though I choose exclusively the ancient Mass of the Apostles: The Traditional Latin Mass, I cannot tell you how many times a sword has been driven through my own heart when I received scorn from priests rather than their support in wanting to be Our Lord’s humble spouse, for merely wanting to perform my own duties and sacred obligations as “woman”. My heart would secretly cry out: “why are not they joyful that a daughter of Mary seeks to give her whole life as a bride of Christ? Not only partially, but utterly and completely. Why do I receive more support from lay people, and it is the priests who seek to block my path? Why have the priests been my greatest enemies when I pray for them so intently?” But then, I would remember the zealous words of the mighty Saint Paul, who said THIS of Our Lord’s virgin brides:
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 11:2 Saint Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ Crucified)
Like Paul, when priests understand the divine power the bride has over the wrath of God, a power to soften the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the priest does not desire to block her path, but PRESENT her to her Bridegroom. This should bring tears to the eyes of the readers… above all, to priests.
Priests can only present the brides to the Prince if they seek to understand the importance of their role and the power of their prayer. They must, in a certain sense, believe in the power of their mission. Teresa of Jesus said somewhere in her writings, that one single prayer alone uttered by a faithful bride of Christ has more of an influence before Christ the King then a thousand prayers said by another soul. In fact, Saint Louis de Montfort said all the devils in hell go in an uproar simply when Mary sighs over a soul She loves and is pleased with; Mary aggravates Satan JUST by breathing. If the evil of women, even nuns, desire to become priests, which is VERY harmful to the Church, the blame partly falls to the lack of support from priests not standing by these faithful brides and failing to recognize their value. So, monasteries are vacant, are they not?
I have heard of many Traditional Catholics as being seen as “uncharitable” … in all truth I never experienced this, until I saw the very same members of the clergy, who celebrate only the Traditional Latin Mass, be learned, knowledgeable and completely orthodox… yet turn their back on Christ’s brides. Teresa of Jesus, upon experiencing this rejection among priests in her time concluded that though the priests who guided her be “learned”, many of them were not “attentive to the individual” and were ultimately not guided by the Divine. Moreover, their words were not divinely inspired, and this great Carmelite was often left to weep. Teresa knew she was on the right path, yet she had to build a barrier of protection around her own interior. But in this, she heard Our Lord say: “You shall no longer converse with men, but with angels!”
Mary and my “Carmelite Holy Mother” Teresa are my models in whom I seek to imitate as virgin bride. I want to end with an astonishing encounter that happened on the feast of the Seven Joys of Mary and the Transverberation of Teresa of Jesus’s Heart, August 27th, a few months after hearing the hermit call. These two precious feasts providentially fall on the same day- the Hearts of the two women I love so dearly and look to as my intimate Mothers! At that exact time, I reached a pit of an all-time low, I did not know was possible to escape from. I was recalling the time in Carmel I had written a play from one of the scenes of The Chronicles of Narnia’s The Silver Chair, with the serpent being slayed by the sword in the end. Of course, this had me ponder more in depth the battle between Woman and the ancient serpent from the Apocalypse. Our Lord chose His greatest Treasure: namely His Mater, Woman, to crush the head of the serpent, HER Heart to triumph and SHE fled into the wilderness where She had a place prepared by God for some 3,260 days.
Even though we Carmelite’s love, respect and revere priests with all our hearts, I did not see my worth in their eyes; this is an indescribable pain. Therefore, I understood why there are so few brides of Christ, because their value is belittled by the very ones who should be holding them up to Christ as proud Fathers and members of the flock. So, like Teresa I turned to Our Lord for protection- “Why am I a woman? What are we worth to You, dear Prince?” That same day, directly following the serpent scene from the Chronicles, I walked outside of my home and heard a rattling sound near my feet. I looked up only to see a lizard, which I thought odd, but when I looked down at my feet, all coiled up, was a rattle snake. I darted back inside, and it proceeded to stare at me through the glass (see picture):
I saw in that moment, with that serpent found at my own feet, how Satan coils his body, not at the feet of men, but women. Not because we are better than men, but because as Eve’s role began with conversing with the snake, Mary’s will end with Her Heel ending that discourse. The devil desires women to be seen as worthless; he wants them to be despised- especially by the clergy! Just as earthly husbands and wives strive to support one another, in their own roles in the home, so too should the nuns and priests work together for the coming of the Kingdom of God through harmony rather than discord. Brides follow Mary’s example by “crushing” these wicked thoughts Satan puts in our minds, that “women are worthless in the kingdom of God”. Especially the brides of Christ, he seeks to destroy, because low to the ones who become “living copies of Mary” as “after Her shall virgins be brought to the King”.
Just as the mother is the heart of the home protected by the father, so are the virgin brides the heart of the Church, protected by the Fathers: the clergy. This seems only fitting, as a newly ordained member of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter once told me that the Seven Sorrows of Mary is directly linked to the Priesthood. So, as these brides form Mary’s heel, protected by the priests, that heel is destined to be victorious over the ancient serpent! May Christ’s brides take up their own swords of sorrow, in union with the Seven Swords of Mary, protected by the priests of the order of Melchizedek, and defeat the dragon.
Ave Maria et Laudetur Christus Jesus!