Almost Three Years, Clarification and Updates

*Sticky Post About Why This Site Is No Longer Active with New Posts; Written on August 11th, 2022*

I want to update readers on a few things and also take this opportunity to say how grateful I am to ALL the wonderful souls I have met through Mary’s Secretary blog and our Etsy shop! Most of you I have never even met in person and yet, you are the ones I have connected with on such a divine and supernatural level, than with those I have perhaps known all my life or some of the most devout Catholics who knew me in person. The friends I have made through here will remain forever in my heart. It is truly I who am the fortunate one to have been put in contact with YOU. I apologize in advance, because this is going to be one of our lengthiest blog posts yet, but I pray you read all of it because there will come a time where you will not be reading anything new on this site. What do I mean by that?

I want to start out by saying that I have been discerning with whether or not I should continue blogging when the day finally comes to enter into a hermitage, and I want to tell my dear readers that the answer is “no, I will no longer blog or write.” I want to tell you “why”, and in order for this decision to make sense, I would like to expand further!

Before I begin, I would like to dedicate this entire post to my dear friend and Carmelite sister Rose. This living saint is having her priest offer a private Latin Mass for this miserable worm (a name Teresa called herself) tomorrow with none other than a votive Mass of a saint so loved by me: Saint John the Evangelist and RELICS OF JOHN OF THE CROSS AND MARY MAGDALEN MY HERO HERMIT. Can you tell that I am getting excited? I am getting excited! I am just so humbled and honored to have met Rose and I think tomorrow will be one of the greatest days of my life as I am sure there will never again be a Votive Mass of John the Beloved offered for me ever again, and so, I am relishing this… Rose is more proof of the gratitude I must express with the people Our Lady has connected me with through this site!

Almost Three Years

When I was in 6th grade, my history teacher Mrs. Yoffee (sounds like Coffee with a “y”) played a movie to the class that forever changed something in my interior. It was Dreamworks’ The Prince of Egypt on the life of Moses. The year prior, in 5th grade, I saw The Passion of the Christ and that film paved the way for Moses’ influence on me the following year. When I saw the scene of Moses entering the cave of intimacy where Our Lord tells him to remove the sandles from his feet, for the place was “holy ground”, and proclaims that He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, well, I wanted to personally stay in that cave forever. The flames burning that bush were so obviously the flames of LOVE; the flames that burn but do not consume and I will never forget the impact that scene in the film had on me; I wept in a way I never knew was possible. They were tears of transformation; no one who saw me on the outside would have been able to tell an outward VISIBLE difference in me at school or at home, but I knew I was different on the inside.

That “fire” forever ignited in my heart the need to keep that flame alive and constant. I am an only child and so, I was already accustomed to solitude my entire life and when I dropped out of college to pursue religious life, I was seeking a life that would keep that flame ignited, you see. My Mom would actually joke and call me a hermit throughout my childhood, because on weekends I would stay in my room and close all the blinds. To others it was “dark and gloomy”, but to me, it was “the cave”. This past weekend, on none other than the feast of the Transfiguration, which depicts MOSES and Elijah with Our Lord, I revisited that 6th grade impact of Moses’ life and in particular the scene of the burning bush. I relate so well with how Moses was truly chosen apart as one single man and, in a sense, that is exactly the role of anchorites- they are consecrated and singled out by God in an utterly profound and radical way.

This is why my heart leaps when I see others wanting to be hermits. I have heard many say that I am radical, am too young to hear a call to the desert and I lack humility (the latter is definitely true). But I can also tell you this, God does not call the qualified, HE QUALIFIES THE CALL. So, you see, it is not really about me, my age, my lack of humility nor being radical, but if God chooses the poorest tool, who are we to question it? Saint Paul, after his conversion, was not trusted and for a time, Barnabas had to be with Paul as to convince the people. Food for thought… My Grandpa recently reminded me that, like Moses, I better NOT have a line of excuses to give to God to flee from the mission. I have had plenty of those moments: “why couldn’t I just fit into the cloister and been happy in community life?” or “I truly tried to fit in and love it, why couldn’t I?” I watched that fire that was ignited in that cave from 6th grade become nearly extinguished in community life; even though it was cloistered life, it simply was not the solitude I was hungering for; it was not the flame I found in Mrs. Yoffee’s class, that was for sure. So where, then?

What is sort of interesting, and rather comical if I do say so myself, is since having left Carmel I believe these last almost three years have resembled Moses. He left Egypt and went straight into the unknown of the cruelties of the desert. I left Carmel and had no clue where or what I was to do next, and my spiritual desert was one of pain and confusion for some time. Once Moses was somewhat settled, he then sees the burning bush and his mission is manifested. That flame for me was officially reignited when I heard the hermit call and then of course, not only did Moses find himself surrounded by plagues, well, for us the lovely Coronavirus began (I just had to throw that one in there). But Moses had to be prepared for such a mission before it began; it is so fascinating that his name means “to draw out”, because that is exactly what he did. He “drew out” of Egypt, God’s people. But those years in the desert were not joyful ones; before officially coming into the Promise Land, the people had to be purged… it was brutal.

For myself, I realized that I did not know how to worship God properly nor in an ordered manner; how I related to the Israelites in this. I also could not receive the Eucharist for nearly a year due to the unethical shutdowns. I went from daily Latin Mass in the Carmelite Rite to reading through the Mass in our Missal on a daily basis feeling lower in spirit than I could ever put words to. But alas! When I look back on those true desert experiences I can now rejoice because my pride found even in holy things, were exposed and purged! And in a sense, though not even the hermitage is the Promise Land, I could not have simply heard the call and then entered into a hermitage the very next day without having been prepared to enter the place where Our Lord says, “remove the sandles from your feet”. It is the Holy of Holies, and I would not dare set foot in there without first having Our Lady dress me in the proper garbs. I have often, as I am sure many of you have as well, wracked my brain with WHY on earth becoming an anchoress has taken so long. But looking back, I am so happy that I can lay forth a trail for those, who, I know are also called to this path, will be able to know that others have trodden this precious path as well, and they are not alone. The anonymous monks says,

“Of you, as of Moses, He will say: ‘he is in charge of My whole Household. I speak to him Face to face, plainly and not in riddles, and he sees Yaweh’s glory’.”

In my years of limbo, I have often battled with myself and thought of simply entering another Carmel even though I would be miserable, but it would be the next best thing. I have prayed too many novenas to count to make that clear and the contrary is always manifested. Discalced Carmelite life is BEAUTIFUL and those who are called to it could not do better, but again, each individual soul will only find true peace in accomplishing God’s will for THEM in the manner they have been chosen. God’s will produces peace, while anything opposed to it, though good and holy, produces frustration; the latter is NEVER from God. On the feast of the Transfiguration, as I revisited The Prince of Egypt, I was reminded of a song sung to Moses by Jethro and these lyrics made everything clear:

So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life
Look at your life through heaven’s eyes

That very same evening, as Our Lord’s feast was coming to an end, I picked up Saint Faustina’s Diary for the first time in years and randomly opened to Our Lord telling Faustina that He wanted her to meditate on the mission of Jonah. Faustina began thinking to herself how odd that sounded because it was so different from anything she had meditated on and she began to see that, like Jonah, she too often believed that God chose the wrong person due to her weaknesses, but she saw how Our Lord chooses none other than the poor tools to carry out his works. We do not want to end up like Jonah; fleeing from responsibilities (our call) and then later get swallowed up by spiritual whales. In that same passage she expressed how she went to confession that same day and even the priest told her to “consider Jonah” and she knew it was proof that Our Lord speaks through His priests. This past 9th Sunday after Pentecost during Mass, I had myself a little interior chuckle when almost the entire homily was about… wait for it… Moses. Yep, Moses.

I marveled at what Father said in regard to “Moses was unshakeable in his faith and even when Pharoah was willing to compromise and negotiate, Moses would not let politics get involved by compromising ANY part of what God had commanded him.” I saw how this was so fitting for our times, because it confirmed for me personally that the political matters, we are facing today with that of Pope Benedict XVI and the Latin Mass is totally in the Hands of God and I am expected to move forward unshakeable in my faith by NEVER accepting compromise to get what I desire by 95%. Nope, I want 100% because that is what the Father demands. He demands a perfect whole burnt offering. And He demands us to trust in His power; He has overcome the world.

Canticle of Moses Exodus15

Who is like to Thee, among the strong, O Lord? Who is like to Thee, glorious in holiness, terrible and praiseworthy, doing wonders? Let us sing to the Lord: for He is gloriously magnified. The Lord is my strength and my praise, and He is become salvation to me: He is my God and I will glorify Him: the God of my father, and I will exalt Him. 

Clarification

I recently heard from Father Ripperger that the Church surprisingly does NOT condone freedom of speech and he quoted Pope Saint Leo; I am still confused with what that exactly even means, because all around us I see Catholics, myself included as well as Father Ripperger speaking freely and so, on this matter I am hoping to receive proper clarity, because I want to faithfully obey Church teaching. With that in mind, and not desiring to ruin anyone’s reputation, nor fail to be prudent, I can only say this: my experiences with the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were half positive and half traumatizing.

Yes, traumatizing. As I said, I will not reveal what went on, but I can say this: I have permission from a fatherly priest, who knows these foundations and has worked with them firsthand, to caution women from entering there. I am always happy to help young women who have more questions on the matter privately if it will help them with discernment, but all I can say on this blog is that, like Father, in good conscience I do not recommend any of the JMJ foundations and I can only ask readers that they pray for the dozens of women (the number is high) who have suffered and left, and for the women who are still on the other side of the grill. I believe part of the reason things have taken so long for my own approval, is God the Father knew I needed time to properly heal.

All I can say is NEVER judge an order, though traditional and beautiful singing, by mere appearances; until you have lived on the other side of the cloister, one can never know what goes on nor be a proper judge- that includes parents of women there. Again, out of charity, all I can ask is that readers pray for these foundations and that they may be pleasing to God, reform in ways pleasing to Our Holy Mother Teresa of Jesus and rather than be shutdown, simply change and become holy. I love all my former sisters and care about their welfare and wellbeing!

However, as I said, the other half that was positive was certainly that, positive, and there are things I learned there that I still take with me every day. Roman’s 8:28 has become one of my mottos of “all things work together for the good”, and me being there was certainly for my benefit. I still pray for some of my former Mother Superiors, keep a holy card one gave to me the day I left with a prophetic poem of Our Holy Father John of the Cross, and I also meditate quite frequently on words of wisdom they told me on several different occasions. Mother Agnes of the Holy Eucharist, on our feast day, told me that “the things God loves most, He keeps for Himself alone” and those are words that seemingly paved the way for me with understanding what hermits are in the heart of the Church and why they exist.

As I am not an approved hermit yet, it has made sense to have this site open and make connections so Our Lady could introduce me to people who can help me make this vocation a reality. Thus, because of this I have used an email, a phone, a blog, an Etsy shop and completed the writing of two books because not only was it necessary for me to be purged and prepared for a hermitage, but I also knew that while I had the chance it was important that I spread Mary’s message about the practice of Her presence, Her Heart, First Saturday and the papacy with the avenues I have at my disposal before I give them up forever. I did not want to be idle during my limbo and so I desired to utilize this time for God’s glory, still, in a hidden way if you will. Since, having left Carmel on November 9th, 2019, my only exposure, for the most part has been Mass and confession. I can honestly say this: for the hermit, solitude is the cure not the disease.

But all of that aside, besides all of my precious readers on here, the thing that I am most blessed to have learned in this time of limbo is to not look at my life through the eyes of man, but through the eyes of God the Father. With that, I have finally found my courage. To obey God’s commands without compromise no matter who turns their backs on me. This is not only preparation for a hermitage, but a lesson I believe we all can take. That we only live with fear of God, rather than man, and that real holiness lies in loving God and in humility. That is all. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Moreover, I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to be the “modern day hermit” who is seen all over social media with my face on display or getting involved with worldly affairs, but rather, I want to be the hermit, who, is living her vocation so faithfully that you do not even know I am there. I want you to forget about me. I do not want you to know where the hermitage will be, what I look like, or whether I am dead or alive. As cryptic as that sounds, I simply want to be thought of less, so that Jesus and Mary can be thought of more! I want to live a true anchorite life so hidden and poor that I will fade from your memory.

My Australian Mother once wrote me a note before she went back to her homeland to begin a new Carmelite Foundation of, “Let us strive in constant competition to be the most hidden in the Heart of Christ. Yes! Only when He sees that we belong to no one else will He completely take us as His own.” I received my confirmation that I needed when reading about the American Anchoress Nazarena who said she desired to be the most hidden soul in the whole world, and I truly understood what Mother meant with striving in “holy” competition… whoever is the most hidden in Our Lord’s Heart is truly the apple of His eye. Who wouldn’t want that?!

So, as glorious as it has been to write for Our Lady during this limbo, create videos and podcasts for Her, write books for Her Fatima message, all of that pales in comparison to LIVING the hidden life of the Immaculata where I can thus do my best to imitate Her and simply offer unending divine praises to Her Heart and the Lamb. At this point, I no longer desire to write, I desire to LOVE. I want to love the Lamb and the Immaculate Heart with my whole mind, heart and soul and so, with perfect clarity, I will cease writing and speaking. The hermit’s sole vocation is to love the Trinity and Our Lady incessantly, hidden from the eyes of man. C.S. Lewis was so wise when he said humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less! Please pray that when this day comes, I can lose myself in the Sacred Hearts and I will pray you do the same- in holy competition!

I have learned that when one simply finds their security in God alone, that they are loved by Him in whatever vocation or holy calling, one cannot help but believe they have been given the best gift or that they are the happiest in the world. It is not really that they in fact have been given the best, per say, but that they are so confident in God’s love that it is impossible to believe anyone could be happier than they! May we all pray for this grace; for it is indeed a grace! That is why Carmelite Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection truly tried to live as if there were only God and himself in the world. However, may we also in turn give Our Lord a reason to be the happiest, because He so deserves to be loved and adored perfectly.

Updates

With all that has been thus far said and because I am an exceedingly private person, I will not share our location when that day comes, nor the where and when on this blog; you will only know when there is a last post on this site saying “farewell”. I can only say that I have some prospects and leads, and the goal, like Nazarena, is to be a hermit on a property of nuns where I could be tied legally to their order. This is much better than the Canon Law 603 route as choosing the option of Diocesan hermit ironically defeats the purpose of being a hermit, since in order to get donations, one has to live an active life to keep donations coming in.

Nazarena was supported by a community of Benedictine nuns, who, made her the anchoress of their community where she lived her own rule approved by Pope Pius XII. I plan on leaving this site open for helpful resources about Our Lady, Pope Benedict, Carmelite spirituality etc. but it will not be active with new posts. There will be no more email or phone either. I am not sure yet about our Etsy shop, but no matter what I will let you all know, and, in the meantime, I want to thank you again and again for reading our blog and supporting our Etsy shop.

Making holy cards and writing during this time of growth, healing and preparation have been so good for the soul. I also want to take this moment to apologize to you for all my defects, for having offended or hurt any of my readers through email with unkind words that might have been said on my part or for my lack of patience and haughtiness. I am not a meek person (clearly), but I would like to be! First step to solving a problem, admitting I have the problem? I take full responsibility and I hope that you forgive me and pray that I can grow in charity. Thank you for your love and patience with me and be assured that meeting you through here has been a greater blessing for ME!

AVE MARIA ET LAUDETUR CHRISTUS JESUS!

Through Heaven’s Eyes

A single thread in a tapestry
Though its color brightly shines
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design
And the stone that sits on the very top

Of the mountains mighty face
Does it think it’s more important
Than the stones that form the base?

So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life
Look at your life through heaven’s eyes

A lake of gold in the desert sand
Is less than a cool fresh spring
And to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy
Is greater than the richest king

If a man loses everything he owns
Has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning
Of a new and brighter birth?

So how do you measure the worth of a man
In wealth or strength or size?
In how much he gained or how much he gave?
The answer will come
The answer will come to him who tries
To look at his life through heaven’s eyes

And that’s why we share all we have with you
Though there’s little to be found
When all you’ve got is nothing
There’s a lot to go around
No life can escape being blown about
By the winds of change and chance
And though you never know all the steps
You must learn to join the dance
You must learn to join the dance

So, how to you judge what a man is worth
By what he builds or buys?
You can never see with your eyes on earth
Look through heaven’s eyes
Look at your life
Look at your life
Look at your life through heaven’s eyes