I am taking the time to dedicate this post, to the people that Our Lady has led into my life, these last two years through this blog and Etsy. Some of them I have known from Colorado for many years, and they have never for a moment wavered in their support for me. God-willing, on the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist on the 27th, I will be publishing a book. It is written under the title of Mary’s Secretary because I do not want my name associated with a work that belongs entirely to Our Lady. While there are some personal experiences in this poor work, it is only to bring glory to Our Lady in whom the entire theme centers on. It focuses on the two devotions that have changed everything about my interior, as well as my exterior; in short, I owe my whole life to Mary and before I leave this wretched world, this book is only written with the hopes that thousands and thousands of souls can come to know this Good Mother, Who… is my Best Friend. I beg of you to seek out Her Heart, dive down into the abyss; let Her become your all!
My heart is very much overflowing with my love for you all; how do I thank you enough? Where do I begin? When I left Carmel, I was 100% percent certain that even though I was removing the Holy Habit for a short time Our Lady needed me to fight for the Church, and somehow in a radical way, Carmel would always be tied to that call. At first, I thought I was called to start a religious order with Carmel and the Marian Vow; something about that never seemed… right.
When I spoke with Father Maximilian Mary, another fellow hermit, the call so profoundly resounded from within that it seemed as though my whole life’s travels, crosses and character formation, had led to leaving all and following some of the Church’ greatest saints, into the desert: the hermitage. Mary Magdalen, John the Baptist, Moses, Saint Telesphorus, Saint Simon Stock, Saint Paul and Elijah! I would be lying to readers if I told you that I have not suffered rejection, misunderstandings or that, I have not lost friends along the way. More than ever, I have been able to relate to Frodo Baggins, from the Lord of the Rings, when his fellowship began with nine, but at the end, there was only one person who remained faithfully at his side: Samwise.
However, at the same time, I have been able to relate on a deeper level to Our Lord and Saint Paul. Our Lord, in returning to Nazareth and His own people failing to believe that Someone who was always in their midst could be the Savior. Then my Father Saint Paul. After his rather quick, and intense, transformation even the apostles were hesitant to believe his sincerity. I have experienced this with the Hermit call; in fact, I have suffered more persecution for wanting to be an anchorite than I ever did in wanting to enter the cloister. Many have doubted that someone of my “personality”, “the Jade I knew was often helpless” or how could someone of my sinful past be called to such a glorious vocation? But let us think of Mary Magdalen.
In the Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Emmerich, upon describing the Magdalen’s conversion, we read how Martha was so concerned about her sister, and her sinful lifestyle, that she was offering up countless prayers on her behalf. Our Lord told her to certainly pray for her, but one day she would be the Church’s greatest penitent, and all will seek to imitate her-He was not concerned! Does that not bring tears to the eyes of the reader? Are we failing to forget the transformation that the Lord works in sinners who later become the greatest saints? The anonymous monk who wrote Hermitage Within truly says it best when he proclaims that it is the persecution, that Our Lord allows, to come from HOLY souls, men we love best, but it is these very ones, His instruments of choice, who thus help detach us from self!
So, while many people from my hometown of Nazareth have abandoned me, Our Lady has never ceased to amaze me in putting people in my life of Her choosing. This post is a primary focus on them; this is a Christmas gift and tribute to all my faithful friends here in this vale of tears who have helped me carry my own cross and because of you, I have never given up on my dream. Even when that time comes for me to close down the email and lose contact with the world, you will FOREVER be in my heart. I cannot but marvel at how most, if not all of these dear ones, have NEVER met me in person, and they have supported me more than people I have known for many years.
Sandy was the second person I met when leaving Carmel; on my flight home we met, and she has been my number 1 supporter ever since.
Christine and Luke, their friendship is one I do not deserve.
Her Scapulars are the MOST beautiful I have ever seen, and she has been there for me on a number of occasions.
My two best friends.
My Dear Mama and Elijah, I love you both so immensely!
Afra Moffat, my dearest Canadian friend; one of the holiest women I have ever met!
Dad when he was young; it has been so great reconnecting!
Rose, who has become my dearest sister and enrolled me in a novena of Latin Masses when I was suffering; she is my true Carmelite sister.
Evelyn, who sent me handmade rosaries.
Ciara- the sister I never had: this is the photography she did for me.
Ben and Kaylin, friends I went to Africa with, and they have never failed in standing by me even at my lowest points. They are my favorite couple in the world.
Anne, Ciara’s sweet Mother who spontaneously sent me a care package!
Genevieve, who placed in my hands the Carmelite Rite Missal.
Alexa and Austin. Alexa has been one of my best of friends for about nine years now; Our Lady alone only knows how grateful I am for her and our friendship.
My Godson Ambrose Pio
Linda, a longtime friend in whom I will always see as a member of my own family.
David and Rima
Stephanie and Michael
My Dearest Susan; my Carmelite sister. This woman, there are no words to describe how much this soul means to me!
Claire, one of the first women who reached out to me on my blog, and we have stayed in touch in the most beautiful way.
Sister Juana Maria of the Cross (also was known as Sister Mary Guadalupe of the infant Jesus)
Axel, my dear Brother in Mary; we only just met but it seems as though we have been spiritually connected for quite some time. May God reward you for your service to this country.
Alex and Teresa. In short, Alex is the brother I never had; thank you… I have never had a brother, being an only child, and this precious friend has filled that spot. Your prayers are mine!
Father James Jackson, one of the holiest priests I know!
MY STEPDAD STEVE! Michael Walker, in whom I need to add some pictures of his blog and art for all to see in my next post! God bless you, brother! Leo Quinn, Deb from Carmelite Quotes, Janet Plonka, Tracy Patel, James Draxler Uncle Joe and Aunt Nancy, Aunt Laura, Uncle Chad, Jillian and Curtis, Ken and GB etc. There are so many more, and I am sure I am forgetting some, but please know that you are all loved by me. More than half of these souls I have NEVER met in person, and they have donated hundreds of dollars to me, prayed for me and have become my most intimate friends. Again, there are no words for my gratitude; Our Lady has spoiled me indeed!
Ave Maria et Laudetur Christus Jesus!