Write to Change the Culture


I do a lot of things in the world, but at the heart of everything I am, I am a writer.

This might be a little “inside ball” for many of my readers, but I want to share the essence of a keynote that I delivered at the annual Catholic Writers Guild Live Conference in Chicago earlier this week. One of the attendees asked for my “speech” and I froze, because I scribbled it out on my iPhone and the Holy Spirit took over the rest. I prayed much in advance of this conference and knew that God wanted to bring new projects to life, resurrect dead dreams and dust off shelved manuscripts. Speaking to fellow artists, writers and all around creators is always a little intimidating. I never feel fully qualified. A holy man of God who prays with me occasionally via my own spiritual director called me Saturday prior to this event. He knew nothing of my upcoming appearance and as he was praying with me said that the Lord showed him I would be before a group of business professionals and to prepare, but “don’t prepare too much because the Holy Spirit would take over and and touch the hardest hearts in the room.”

Can confirm.

I asked God for the points he wanted me to address and drew from my own experience.

I was shocked to receive a standing ovation and so much personal feedback that confirmed that during these Pentecost days, the Holy Spirit is operative for humanity. The reactions were highly emotional in recognition of the pain of the creative process. He was speaking through me for those who are called at this moment in history to transform the culture and create a renaissance that lifts hearts and minds to the Divine. This is urgent.

ICYMI or if you just want to hear this message, here are my words. I hope they bless and inspire you!

To my fellow Catholic writers…

When I think of writers, I think of artists. Aside from women who get to literally co-create with the Holy Spirit to bring about a new life, there are artists, writers, those who, when they invite Him in, co-create with the Holy Spirit to be apostles of this age by bringing the words of LIFE in a story, a testimony, a book, film, whatever the platform is. Some of you are out in front and the main messenger and others are forming words and messages behind the scenes and putting big, beautiful words in the mouths of others.

There is a demonic narrative and a God narrative and you are heralds of His narrative. The line has been drawn in the sand. There can be no compromise and no tangling with the spirit of the world anymore. To write to change the culture, we need to have God’s law, God’s love, God’s truth written on our hearts never to be blotted out, then he can entrust to us the great work of writing to change the culture in order to infuse it with His love, His goodness, and the reality of God.

I asked the Holy Spirit to guide this talk today to just inspire in the ways I have been inspired. I don’t have slides or any preset graphics because I believe by way of this talk, He wants to inspire you, resurrect your dreams, the old pages, the manuscripts on the shelf and to open new doors for such a time as this!

I jotted down a few aspects that have encouraged and helped me along my path. The things inside me, the things of Heaven and the things in the body of Christ that remind me of who I am as a writer- and that my gift, YOUR gift, is not for you alone. It’s always for another, even if it’s just one person.

I am a writer. You are a writer.

Here it goes….

1. Remember your first love.

Artists, creators, and writers can get banged up and discouraged. As I was preparing to deliver this message, God began to flood me with vivid memories of my very earliest days of writing – as a school girl, a college student, an aspiring journalist and beyond. I flashed back to colorful cover letters, school papers, the dreaded computer lab, electric typewriters, old school journals, and witty poems about waitressing, and the drudgery of life. I flashed back to think about my favorite writers and teachers and the memory of my parents who would recall that I was “quiet” because I was an observer of life. “She’s taking notice of everything.”

Why is it important to remember?

I am a writer. I do a lot of things in the world, but the core essence of who I am is a writer.

I was reminded of the Scripture, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” (Psalm 143)

It’s important to remember to reclaim your zeal, and then to deliver that zeal into the world. We need to remember who we are in Christ. We need do remember how he pilots us and know that He hasn’t stopped. Even if we are on a pause.

I challenge you to recall the things of old in your writing. Do you remember your earliest days of writing and the impact that your writing had on those around you? There may have been emotions of joy, surprise, truth and beauty? Do you remember the first seed of an idea and then bringing that to life?

Through your writing you have the ability to take people places they never could go on their own and to bring them the truth of Christ which they otherwise may not receive if you didn’t write. Be it an uplifting story, some needed comic relief that breaks through pain and suffering or a testimony that provides hope where hope was lost – your words have power.

I recall one of my most important early writing assignments. I was studying at American University during my Washington Semester in Journalism and everyone in my class was assigned to write a story about President Bill Clinton’s Inauguration. It wasn’t all about what I would write, but also my vantage point and position to tell others about this period of history as I experienced it.

As a highly competitive and blossoming journalist, I didn’t want my story to be a cookie cutter repeat or just like everyone else. My story had to be different, colorful, unique and unlike anything a regular American would experience. I was searching for a way to topple my classmates with the absolute best story. I didn’t know a lot about inaugurations or the political landscape. I was a junior in college and still learning. The general public would show up or have access to the public swearing in. As a poor college student, I didn’t have the money or connections to gain access to one of the inaugural balls which is where I wanted to be! I was feeling defeated and began to pray. I would get on my knees daily leading up to this pinnacle moment ask Jesus to direct this assignment. Will you help me? Can you help me? Where should I go? I need an amazingly surprising story. Lord, make it happen.

It became comedic as my roommate and partner in crime had a birds-eye view of my prayer posture (hitting the floor) and my silent but serious supplications which prompted unabashed curiosity. I had to come clean with her. My roommate was the most fun and it all become funny and adventuresome.

I was reading the papers and read about a rumored report of an impromptu Clinton stop at a jazz bar for an unofficial “ball stop” where the next president would play his saxophone. My gut was intent on following this lead. I told my roommate that we would get decked out (as decked as college gals could) and set out for this off the grid mystery ball.

After the day’s events we slipped into our evening wear and headed for the Metro to follow the information trail. We were having such a good time chatting it up on the train that we missed our stop for the “jazz ball” and had to get off at Union Station and get back on the train in the opposite direction.

As we sheepishly exited at our “wrong” stop at Union Station, it was as though time stood still. I looked up at the escalator and I saw, descending in the most glamorous gown and tuxedo, a couple holding two giant green official Inaugural Ball tickets that seemed larger than life. My eyes bugged out as we looked on in silence, the couple shouted down to us, “have you attended the ball yet?” At that moment it was a burst of joy, hilarity and a ticket handoff that was the astounding answer to my prayers on my knees for the best story and a vantage point as history unfolded.

The DC Fire Marshall was about to close off all access to the gala but the Holy Spirit led us to the line that would gain us access. As we walked into the stunning venue just in the nick of time, the classic musical arrangement “Someone to Watch Over Me” serenaded everyone and the newly sworn in President and First Lady had their dance…..and I had my story.

God can take you by the hand and lead you where you need to be to capture history. Make Him your agent, way-maker and co-writer. The big things He’s done, He will do again. We remember to be reminded of His power working through us.

Where is God calling you now, to record or capture history?

Another instance worthy of remembering, I recall writing a simple cover letter attached to a resume that I sent to NBC Nightly News that changed the course of my life and really doubled down on the power of the word to get the attention of a news executive who would be an instrument of grace in shaping my path.

When you are 21, you are fearless. I fearlessly sent resumes to 60 Minutes, ABC, CBS and NBC Nightly News. My mom always said “aim high” and I took it to heart 🙂

I was on my day off around the pool before my waitressing shift when I heard the phone ring and the answering machine go off. I didn’t pick up because of the shame of my idleness at the pool haunted me and so I listened intensely to the message in real time through the summer screen window.

I thought my dad had his secretary play a practical joke on me, but it was no joke: Tom Brokaw’s office really called and really wanted me to get myself to 30 Rock to meet with the executive producer. When I finally returned the call I had some questions.

“What is the job?” I abruptly asked.

“Just get yourself here if you can,” said Rachel the secretary.

It turns out my colorful letter leaped off the page and attracted the highest level to little inexperienced me. God was about to take my worldly desires and purify them, right on the spot.

I was dressed to kill for the “big time” and felt like I was walking on sunshine. I sat down with the EP who, before he asked me what I wanted to do in this business, told me that my letter captivated him so much that he wanted to help me establish myself in the industry. I told him I wanted to be on air and he gently and firmly shook his head, “No, no. That’s not for you. You have the look, but you are smart and the real power of influence in this business is behind the scenes shaping whole newscasts and whole newsrooms. I would like you to consider that track.”

God was inviting me to crucify my own will to do things His way to have a wider influence over the culture of newsrooms. My response needed to be “yes.”

Go back to the beginning with Christ and be reminded of how He has led you and know He can do it again.

2. Get yourself a tribe of intercessors, in heaven and on earth.

The life of a writer can feel like path of lonliness. Not everyone in your life is going to understand your path, your process or your calling. They don’t need to. You are a creative being. You need the special friends in heaven (and here on earth) who can pray you into your destiny for His glory.

After a decade working in TV news, I went to work for the Diocese of Palm Beach as spokeswoman to the Bishop. There was no manual for this. How could I write and communicate to change the culture of the Church under assault amid so many scandals? I was alone in this and only saw a blank page. What do you say? What did God want to say?

My spiritual director at the time was a layman from Massachusetts who was insistent that I call on the intercession of Saint Francis de Sales. I wasn’t totally feeling it and I already had my saint crew. I formed a clique and de Sales was on the outside, so I thought. My spiritual director insisted that de Sales was important to my bishop.

Writing for a bishop was scary. No one told me how to do this. It was scary to put words in someone else’s mouth. Every word mattered and meant something. I didn’t want to miss.

At the time of the annual appeal I had no choice but to sincerely call on Saint Francis de Sales. I cut out all flowery prayers and plainly said “you have to write this appeal script.”

I began to write and write, and the inspiration flowed like a divine download. When I turned the script in the bishop loved it, and had no changes. I quipped that Francis de Sales wrote it. With a massive smile on his face, he asked if I loved de Sales too and I said “well, no. You do and he’s helping at every level.” I didn’t realize until then that this bishop was wholeheartedly Salesian, ordained on the feast of Saint John Bosco and had within his coat of arms reference to de Sales.

Look, writing can be a lonely and misunderstood path, but you are not alone. The saints, the proclaimers, who went before you, want to walk with you and open doors for you and help you pull down the words that need do he written, spoken, and crafted for such a time as this.  

I have formidable and holy laywomen in my life who are writers and true intercessors and mentors. Pat Gohn and Jaymie Stuart Wolfe are the type of women every novice needs to stay the course. Thank you from the depths of my heart for your gentle, loving and firm encouragement. These selfless women have helped me chart a path and have taught me to write, write, write at all times and to not give up on my dreams and my mission.

Ask the Lord for these types of companions on the journey who understand your gift, will help you foster that gift, nurture it, push you to be vulnerable and to share your words.

3) Know Christ, know WHO you are in Christ and know that this world needs His light, truth and the Gospel more than ever

To write to change the culture for His glory requires sacrifice and the ability to be His student. You will need to have the capacity to listen to the Master’s voice and invite him into your work and mission. You can live the Acts of the Apostles and write NEW chapters in a new way through a proclamation that demonstrates His power and glory to the world.

Your words have life. The culture today wants us to devolve and not ascend. I don’t need to spell out the full barrage of content dominating our feeds, phones and TVs that oppose the Gospel and present secularism, individualism, and false powers. 

God wants to use your gift and mine to help the world ascend and remind the world that we are part of a human family that belongs to God, the author and ruler of life. 

I believe every single man and woman in this room today is being called in a NEW way to boldly infuse our culture with God’s goodness, truth and beauty.

This is not Pollyanna. This is living our Baptismal call to the fullest extent and using the written word as a vehicle of grace to reclaim Judeo-Christian values and a renaissance of beauty to contemplate higher things.  

This may seem impossible. This may seem too tall a task. You may feel defeated. You may feel exhausted. You may feel rejected. 
You may feel that you have timed out.

God right now is calling each and every one of you to use your hands, heart and artistic gift to deliver a message to the world, our very broken and confused world. 

There will be a battle, but the words He downloads to you will reach the finish line and their destination. I believe there are new works and visions emerging from this very gathering. 

Never has it been more urgent for Catholic writers of fiction, non-fiction, history, film, TV, music, comedy, and even social media to take their position on the front lines and infuse every aspect of artistic channels and flood them with grace. 

Our baptism necessitates that we break out of the safe Catholicy Catholic bubble and become leaven in the world.

You are God’s artists, his writers, his messengers. You have been called here today to receive an impartation and a commission to let your light, His light of grace, shine in the world.

4. Invite Christ deeply into your writing 

You can’t do it alone. You may feel very alone in your craft and giftedness, but the Divine Artist who created you to co-create with Him is operative in you. He wants to work with you.

Ask Him for a divine download. Ask Him for the divine distribution. Ask Him for the message. Ask Him for the audience. Ask Him for lives to be changed. Ask Him for the unexpected pathway and for supernatural wisdom and innovation Ask Him for patience in the process and for the perfect timing for a DIVINE impact.

We have to lay our wills and egos on His altar, the altar of God’s own artist heart, and offer and exchange. This surrender ensures that our gifts will be purified by the Author of Life. 

We just had Pentecost. Writers, invite the Holy Spirit into your work each day and your pages will be illuminated. You will write to change our culture, for God’s children, for families, for the Church and the whole world. The world craves truth. The world is craving a divine touch and your job, your gift, is to bring that light of God to the nations. 

5. Come out of the world to change it

This is a total contradiction, but artists and writers need silence. I am not saying stay in a Catholic bubble. However, we need a lot of alone time in order to contemplate, vision, create and hear. You, my brothers and sisters, are called to be in the world but not of it. Be set apart with Him and let Him cook.

To have the greatest impact with your writing, let Him set you apart to have the air, the space, the silence and the focus to create. Further, we cannot be molded and formed by the world and think we are going to transform it.

As a young woman who always wanted to live in Los Angeles, and never imagined God would lead me there, I dreamed of writing books and movies in an artist’s cottage. As it turned out, I wrote two works in my dream location – a beautiful LA back house which was the entire embodiment of what every writer should have in an artist’s hideaway. My compilation on Fulton Sheen was published five years ago from that nest and a second more personal manuscript, working title, Valley Girl (coming soon), was also penned there. So much was birthed in that space and given flight. Dreams were also delayed and attacked. As Christian artists, we risk all and do not count the cost.

My friends, there is a grace of a place to create and when you are giving birth, it’s sacred and reserved for a select few. It’s holy ground when you invite the Master to write and create through you.

Protect your blessing, the created written word, and come out of the noisy world to give birth to your next work.

6. Form The Next Generation of Writers

Write to change the culture by coming out of yourself and helping to raise up the younger generation. Mentorship is critical in order to form the next generation of writers and likely someone invested time in you along the way, so you should want to be generous with your time.

Sacrifice your time and when you are doing this work for the glory of God, they will just find you and seek you out. Be generous. Remember those who have been generous with you and remember that you are paying it forward for a permanent and lasting imprint. You will be a spiritual son or daughter to some and a a spiritual mother or father to others.

You may not think you have the time or the gifts. God will lead you in this – it will be part of your legacy and what you leave behind.

Final thoughts…

You may not know when your next book will be finished, discovered or published. As the artist, you don’t need to know. Immerse in the Spirit of God and let Him write through you and He will direct your path, the timing, the release, the audience, the impact and the graces. 

He is great and we are small pencils in His hand. Let Him write the greatest stories through you so the Gospel will reign in our world and usher in a renaissance for men and women who are desperate for a touch of light, love, hope, and healing that only God can provide.

It’s a high call. It’s the call on your life. So write, write, write!

My prayers go with you. I can’t wait to see what he does next with each and every one of you! 

God bless you!


Praying for you,


“You Are Preachers of Beauty”

An extraordinary encounter with Pope Francis at the Vitae Summit 2022 | Courtesy Vatican News

I woke up one morning in Miami and suddenly I was scrambling to catch a flight to Rome. My phone was breaking, it wasn’t holding a charge and I refused to freak out, even when my Uber took me to a vacant parking garage that was supposed to be the Verizon store at t minus 3 hours to international departure.

There are some projects you join and there is a complete process that is organized and detailed and there are others that have the wildness of the Holy Spirit in its mystery, suddenness and the joy that leaves an indelible mark on the soul in the aftermath of the holy chaos.

It was like that with Vitae Global. Ever wake up and say “HOW DID I GET INVOLVED WITH THIS? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?”

I woke up in Rome just like that this past August and I want to tell you how it came to be.

My new Argentinian friends with an apostolate led by Luis Quinelli were on a mission that was a “God calling” of the heart. Luis kept hearing “The Holy Father is waiting for you.” He pursued this to test the Spirit and began to talk to his team and figure out how to see if what he was hearing in his heart was real. They went on a mission to request a meeting with the Holy Father.

One thing led to another and after Luis and his team met with Pope Francis before the pandemic, the vision was quickly coming into focus for a global summit with celebrities that would be intimate in nature, profound in dialogue and a beginning to uncover new pathways to transmit the Gospel and transform the culture through the arts.

So as the Vitae Summit was being planned from halfway around the world, I keep asking myself how my involvement happened? I was called forward seemingly so fast and furiously that my trip to the Vatican hit me like a thousand splashes of cold water that I wish sprayed me down while traversing the cobblestones in the blisteringly hot August Roman days. Every once in a while the wonderment and laughter from the rear view mirror of this experience jar me with a burst of joy thinking how very good God is and how constantly surprising His ways are. He is a Father and fathers want to surprise their children. 

Earlier in the year, a holy man of God who has deep prophetic gifts prayed with me along with my spiritual mother and for a few consecutive weeks was getting a recurring vision. During these moments of prayer, he kept detailing a very specific vision he had of me working “deep inside the Vatican.” I quickly interjected, “No, I don’t have any big Vatican connections..that’s definitely not about me. I don’t see that. Not it.” 

Don’t put God in a box and definitely don’t buck the prophets because when they get a word, they can be really sure of it. I didn’t say too much more because it seemed so off to me that I dropped it. 

God can and will do anything.

No matter how “mature” we are or far along on our journey of faith, God wants to remind us again and again that He runs the show, that He controls the pathway and that He is the gift giver. God is sovereign. So as my tiny mind could not begin to contemplate what these prophetic words meant specifically, I just pondered them in my heart and kept about my business – a busy PR business rife with deadlines and commitments, movie openings, crisis public relations, all while imperfectly maintaining my prayer life with the Sacraments, the Rosary and my holy hours – one particular hour a week that is dedicated to priests. Each Wednesday, we spend an hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and pray the Rosary for all of the priests of the world including Pope Francis who gets the Coronation decade, “that he would always remain under Our Lady’s Queenship.” There has been warfare around that hour, but even under great attack, and remaining firm to keep Our Lady central in the prayer in front of the Living God in the holy Eucharist, I believe it was with that obedience that I was drawn to Our Lady’s son.

On an ordinary day in July I received an email that Vitae Global needed an American publicist to help spread the message of their upcoming “unprecedented” Vatican summit with A-list artists from various sectors of the entertainment industry and from all parts of the world. Everyone on the team was Spanish and then there was me, the American. I loved everything about this. At a young age, through World Youth Day, it was imbued in me the universality of the Catholic Church – that there are no borders in the love of God and that we are ALL citizens under Heaven as one family in Christ. Where God is there is the richness of the diversity of his children. I was dropped headlong into a cultural furnace. This kind of convergence of cultures (again) personally set me on fire. Knowing that God would bring together the most unlikely spiritual family – so different and so similar – to tell a story and lead artists deeper in the intentionality to use their gift to transform the culture with beauty, truth and goodness, was a supreme gift.

Leading to the summit, I was meeting virtually with the international team, figuring out who was who, straining to understand Spanish and comprehending more of what I heard than mastering anything that I could speak – I offered my gifts and talents to connect this story to the U.S. press. Messaging, media strategy, translations were all happening and we were getting closer to the event. I saw the list of “guests” and some of the attendees were my friends and colleagues. That made this all the sweeter. To work for them essentially and make their story known.  


I prayed one morning with my spiritual mother (director) who said that in prayer the Lord showed her that my travel was going to kick into high gear and the reason I needed to know ahead of time was so that I would not be caught off guard. At the time of this prayer, I was working remotely from the United States and I was, like the vision, suddenly invited to travel the country to engage the media in America. The travel request came that very afternoon of the prayer. Most of the attendees were from Hollywood and it was a story we aimed to tell here. Afterall, as Luis would say, “Hollywood is the Vatican of the entertainment industry.” 

I packed for an American press tour that included LA, New York and Miami, but despite not being asked to go to Rome, God showed me that I needed to prepare and pack as if I was going overseas. Everyone around me kept saying “you’ll be in Rome.” OK, whatever. Im not sure why God always waits until 59:59:59 on the clock, but He does. A million things raced through my mind (practical things like heels, hose and head coverings), but I didn’t have time to squander my time or play around with any imagination. My clients had demands and Vitae Summit press was getting hot. I didn’t have time to think, just pack it all and go. Every once in a while, I was whispering to the Lord, “God, please let Rome happen so all the clothes I’m bringing don’t go to fashion waste.” 😍

All the prophetic words about going to the Vatican were manifesting and even until I knelt before the Holy Father, I truly didn’t “see” any of this coming. But one afternoon on the LA portion of the press tour, Luis asked if I would accompany the team to Rome and just like that, the pieces were falling into place. No one booked my return trip out of Miami and so I just said yes. When God wants to prepare your soul ahead of time, He does so for a reason. This was such an extraordinary surprise from God, one that merged my personal life and my film and media work all together. The entire experience felt like one wave of grace after another that would bring a blessing in the “now” moment and a blessing for what is coming in the future. I was told, “prepare your heart.”

I was in Rome earlier in the year for Pope Francis’ Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That felt a little like I was traveling with the advance team ahead of this little Roman surprise. Until this year I had not been to Rome in like TEN years. I needed that March trip before this one.

I arrived safely in Rome and met several friends before the work kicked in. Once meeting up with the team, we did a site survey the day before the summit and we were able to tour the area where the historic meeting between artists and the Pope would take place. It was beautiful to step into the space ahead of time to pray over the meeting area and to invite all of God’s grace, the saints and angels and Jesus Christ to be present to minister to everyone and to drive out all evil that comes to rob, steal, kill and destroy. I prayed that the hearts and minds of the men and women meeting with the Holy Father would be lifted up and encouraged and that the Holy Father too would receive a blessing of support from his guests who enjoy high level influence in the world. Imagine this experience as a deposit of grace that would then be taken to the ends of the earth. All I could think of as I prayed was that God’s strategies are not our strategies and He moves in ways that skip outside of religious bouandaries into the peripheries. The scripture that kept coming to mind was from Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on Him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear apart from preaching?” 

There is such a thing as a grace of a place and over the next two days of summit and entire week of Rome travel, I believe we all experienced the mystery of faith, hope, love and beauty that is the Roman experience. How can anyone ever visit the Eternal City and not have their soul set ablaze? I was in constant fire mode (because of Roman heat) and because of the Holy Spirit!

The two-day event began with a private tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Honestly, it was the hottest I have ever been in my entire life and I wasn’t sure if I was going to melt or not, but it was an extraordinary evening to contemplate beauty and encounter each other. The publicists were segregated from the artists for part of the tour and then we melted, literally, into each other in the Sistine Chapel. I spun around with my head tilted to the ceiling and spinning slowly in quiet awe of the visuals. I’ve been there many other times, but this time, with our community, on this mission, meant so much more in this very moment. It’s like a freeze frame in my mind and embedded in my heart. Unforgettable.

The next day was the culmination of the two-day event, the portion of the summit where the artists would meet with the Holy Father at Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican Gardens – a point of grace on Vatican grounds where the blood of martyrs was shed for the faith, where the Vicar of Christ on earth met, listened, encouraged and reminded the artists –  all of us – of the particular call on our lives – that every part of our work has meaning, purpose and it it can lift up heavenward or devolve to the depths of darkness.

While the artists were meeting with the Holy Father, the press team was pushing out the story to the international press corps.

Pope Francis told the artists, “You are preachers of beauty!” And he reminded, “Beauty does good, beauty heals, beauty carries you forward on the journey.”

We all need so much healing. The world hungers and thirsts for a God that many do not know how to meet concretely. How art is able to transmit messages of the Gospel to those who have not yet heard of him or contemplated his face, is something so very mystical. The pull of the world for any of us can be very strong, and to see, know, and understand that everything we have put behind us for Christ is more meaningful, not just here on earth, but in the economy of eternal life, is a profound take away from this trip. To see these beautiful men and women be encouraged on the narrow way and to use the gifts they have been given to communicate the message of the Gospel, no matter the cost, is one they – we – will never forget.

When it came time for me to meet the Holy Father, I was a little bit frozen. I was holding my veil and one of my new Latin sisters slapped my hand and lovingly said, “no, he wants to be your friend.” I love the Catholic Church with my whole soul. I love and honor the office of papacy and priesthood in my private and public prayer time. I pray for priests and if I ever have a son, I would freely offer him to Christ in service to the Church. So many people wanted me to say so many things to him. All I could really say was that I loved him, he was prayed for and the priests of the world are prayed for each Wednesday evening in a tiny suburban parish where we give our time to ask God to pour out uncommon grace on the Church, on the Pope, on the Cardinals of the world, bishops of the world. That we pray for him by name. We pray for the lost and sinful priests, the incarcerated and the falsely accused. This encounter was a death to self and a moment to lay down all my pride and imagination of the way I thought this encounter should be or what I should say. In my weakness, wonderment, the fire of the sweat pouring down my body, and the wound up speed of it all, I didn’t tell him what I did or why I was there, but that he was prayed for, he was loved and that it was a grace and honor to meet him. He spoke to me in English and asked for prayers because “it is not always so easy.” 

No it’s not always so easy. But with the extraordinary Grace of God, all things are possible, including this trip to the Eternal City with men and women that I love, adore, collaborate with and cheer on from my corner of the mission field. 

Deo gratias. 

Thank you Lord for this exquisite moment in my life, the new beautiful forever friendships and collaborators in mission and for always surprising me in the way you move my feet and pry my heart open to make room for the good things you want me to hold onto.

Until the next vision in the next scene in your Divine script, I’m standing by and I’ll be ready.

Praying for you,


Friends for Eternity

God’s own stay

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

There comes a point in every believer’s life where you realize you are on the right path, the wrong path or have one foot in and one foot out – walking a very dangerous tight rope that could threaten your salvation.

You can’t always help who your friends are. We get lumped in a school, a career, a path that can be rife with the right and wrong people. The more the drumbeat of the world, the harder it is to find like minded women and men to trust or hold you accountable morally. And sometimes we can linger too long with the wrong people because we trust ourselves too much to do a God-thing for those who need it. We can stay too long in jobs because of the money or the status. We can slowly let comprise drip, drip and ultimately overtake us until eventually we are won over to the thing we fought so hard to be above. Better than. A dangerous place of pride that dances with temptation. Someone always loses in that battle.

Being “in the world and not of it” gets harder when things devolve in the world to the degree that they have as we are experiencing now. In today’s world if you actually live as your faith instructs, you might just be a unicorn! It gets harder to stand alone, say no to the crowd and play that corporate game and get the God work done like Jesus under cover. That kind of spiritual chess has an expiration date and eventually a lived, intentional, radical faith will need to take center stage. Talk is cheap. The walk is a bit of a white martyrdom.

God proposes, he never imposes. He gives us our free will. We can freely choose how we live now and later. The “now” determines the “where” for the long run: eternity.

This week with all that’s swirling in the world and amid a painful loss of a spiritual sister – the fragility of life has me contemplating people. The type of people I want in my life now and forever. The type of people God has sent me. The type of person I want to be to honor and glorify Him.

As a committed Catholic, I didn’t always have like-minded Catholics around me and the temptation to give up my own beliefs could come on strong. Temptation to not wait. Temptation to compartmentalize. Temptation to have the success others had who seemed to not have a Cross but only a crown.

When I moved my life out of TV News and committed to work for the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Palm Beach, I could see how much more God needed me for Him than the Church needed me for it. Yes, I offered my time and talent for the work in service to the Church, but God was doing a parallel work in my soul that needed to happen if I was ever going to be of good use to God on this earth in a way that HE planned.


The first thing was to strip me totally of the worldly life, the newsroom, the power, the playmates, and to bring me to a place of silence, sacrifice, reflection and in many ways deep loneliness. It’s not to say that my life of faith wasn’t active before, but it was an immature faith. I went to Mass and Confession all the time. I did things for God all the time. But this was some sort of surgical leveling up, an interior cutting that had I known how deep, I might not have plunged so quickly into the Palm Beach assignment. God let me be broken to recreate me.

Of all the places that I lived and worked, this was a true desert for me. A God-permitted arid place where God could do His deep soul work. In that vacancy I began to vocalize that loneliness. It was my own mother who prayed (as a good mother should) for God to send me holy women. As an independent woman, to even say that it was lonely felt like a defeat. And holy women. Wuttt. Would they be cool? or Church lady crazy? These were my real thoughts after protesting that “no holy women existed in Palm Beach” asserting my isolation chamber and wanting that to be bigger than any prayer that could be answered better than I could imagine.

My mother kept praying for me.

Meanwhile, I did everything alone. Ate alone. Worked out alone. Worked each day, just about alone except for the few meetings or one-on-one interactions. My biggest excitement was that my office backed up to the back door employee entrance. Until scandals heated up and my office moved toward the inner more hidden part of the pastoral center. Instead of the police scanners, four times daily broadcasts, excitement in the field, breaking news and constant adrenaline rush, I was doubling down on the Sacraments and letting the world fall off of me little by little.

I was invited to participate on a prayer team at a parish healing mission. Little did I know this particular weekend would change my life forever. I met Emelyne Smith and her sister Mathilde Ambroise as part of this spiritual retreat. From the instant I saw them I knew something was different. They were striking. They were intentional. They were elegant. (they were cool!)

I wanted to stay very much in the background at this weekend event. A friend from Boston was giving the Saturday morning talk and because I heard him witness so many previous times, I stepped outside into the sunny parish piazza for coffee. Emelyne and Mathilde from the night before also ducked out. It was Emelyne who got my attention and said, “the Lord shows us He would like us to pray with you.”

I grew up in prophetic environments with very holy priests with genuine gifts. These two special daughters of an ordained deacon, were full of the Holy Spirit and God surely used them to speak to me that morning. These women were THE women, the answer to my mother’s prayer.

They spoke in the power of the Holy Spirit about my work, my path, my future spouse. They encouraged me in order to build up the Kingdom of God within me. This was not some nutcase uttering of fruitless words to tickle ears or fanaticism but truth flowing from God’s own heart that confirmed things that no man would know, but only God. Emelyne said that she understood my public calling and that God was providing for me an anonymous safe place to pray freely and invited me to their home cenacle of prayer. For five years, every Friday night was spent in prayer for the Church, my family, my life, future spouse. Emelyne and Mathilde displayed a radical hospitality that revealed the character of God’s own heart and helped me to be a better woman. They exposed me to their Haitian culture and many Latin cultures prevalent in South Florida and the spiritual richness of their faith.

Emelyne was a teacher and intercessor, like a big spiritual sister. Mathilde and Emelyne were inseparable in ministry and their gifts complimented each other to a great degree. All walks of life were attracted to this house of prayer – young and old, rich and migrant, the holy and the unholy, the single and the married, the very broken and every race. I saw deliverance. I saw miracles. I saw sacrifice and the talk being walked and lived out in ways that challenged me to my core.

Emelyne was a fierce warrior for God. Her fire was contagious. At first these women scared me a little. I never imaged that life after Palm Beach would mean that they would remain. So many others were fleeting, but God’s own stay. They ministered to so many and I attest that I am a transformed woman because of them. They helped me to do the spiritual work, not just for me, but for my family, my future husband and my future family. I had to be spiritually sanded and Emelyne was so much a part of this refinement – work that seemed repetitive and never-ending but would ultimately become permanent.

After a brief illness and fierce battle, Emelyne passed away to Eternity on Monday, March 14, the feast of Saint Mathilde. Even in her death, her life became a witness again. I didn’t feel worthy to be present during her sacred passing, but was permitted to join with the immediate family and spiritual family members to praise and worship God, to sing to him and testify to His goodness – to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet, the Rosary and to and invoke our Blessed Mother, the saints and angels to accompany her on her journey to Jesus.

I see her there in Eternity with her Bible, her Rosary, her hands outstretched declaring and decreeing in the name of Jesus as part of the great cloud of witnesses cheering her husband, daughter, family and all of us on.

Thank you Emelyne for your love. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for teaching me how to be a friend to others. Thank you for standing with me as I fulfilled my assignment in Palm Beach. Thank you for insisting that I wait for God’s best, my future spouse. Thank you for always holding my parents, sister, niece, nephew and extended family in your deepest prayers as if they were your own. Thank you for teaching me about spiritual warfare. Thank you for showing me what it looks like to walk by faith and not by sight. Thank you for teaching me to sing and praise in a storm. Thank you for challenging me. Thank you for your radical love for the Church. Thank you for showing me grace and dignity in suffering and death.

Because of Heaven, we rejoice that you have the promise of your true home.

Until we get there, please tell Jesus that we love Him. War for us now from the best vantage point+

We love you and can never repay you+

Requiescat in pace+


What’s for you will not pass you by


I’m keenly aware of time, as most of you reading this blog are too. I feel like it was just March 2020 and we were in the throes of the beginning stages of the pandemic, stockpiling and isolating to keep ourselves and each other safe. Over a year later and suddenly I see the gentle introduction of green pine for the season beginning to line the storefronts and sidewalks for sale before we’ve even toasted a toast of thanks with turkey among our family and friends. Time is moving. And as fast as it’s moving, there is still waiting, wondering and the urgency of prayer amid a changing world that somehow seems stalled in the midst of speed.

With the passage of time, we like to mark progress, improvement and tasks accomplished. In this era of pandemic which seems to have taken on more than a season of our lives, these most recent challenges of our lives leave us wondering what can we accomplish when our world, space and circles seem to have condensed. What will we become? What will we produce? Where will we direct our love? Can we be anything in such a harness of bottled time and motion?

These questions besiege many who feel they will never evolve, grow or move in the direction of their heart’s desires in the deepest yearning of the art of becoming. The past two years seem to have thrown us all a major life curve ball that in part has shuttered our dreams, our progress, our connections and friendships and challenged us to reimagine our lives and what we hoped for based on the reality of an era of confinement. Distancing, home office, virtual lives and constancy of a looming virus breathing down our backs are not real lives and yet we have made the best of it, a go of it and adapted. Many have left their physical place of dreams to migrate to safer states and dwelling places and with that, have left their aspirations on altar of God’s own heart.

Does He see? Does He know?

As I meditate on this past year – the Year of Saint Joseph, I am struck with the fact that the Holy Family was delivered the biggest curve ball ever. JESUS. Mary was visited by an angel and invited to be the vessel of Grace to carry and bring forth the source of all our salvation. It was lonely. It was a sacrifice. It required a place of hiddenness. It required that she had God’s favor. She became connected to Heaven in the world and not of the world. This curve ball was wrought with perceived scandal. It was a contradiction. Yet with all all these things – there were miracles. The story was in progress with the living out of a private prophecy. Her companion for this divine assignment was Saint Joseph. A man who knew prayer and a man who was divinely chosen and set a part like her. Some of the brokenness of how it looked to the world may give the illusion of haphazardness or “happy” accident. Yet none of it was by accident. It was pre-destined. God used all the attributes of simplicity and confinement, humility and docility, prayer and obedience to reap a Divine reward. This Divine reward was not just for Mary and Joseph. They would be used to bring Salvation to the entire world. A great mission and destiny doesn’t happen in a flash. Destiny requires pruning, patience, forbearing, love, preparation. These things don’t occur amid rapid pace, over busyness and worldly status.

This weekend is the honoring of Christ the King (a reminder that He sits on the throne) and the weekend after, we begin Advent – not so much an end, but a beginning – a new Liturgical season, and an opportunity to put everything of ours inside the manger of unmet expectations.

I have had my share of challenges over these past two years, as have you. I have had to migrate, move, wait, suffer and be pruned. I know you have too. I don’t believe any of our brokenness, obstacles, exiles and littleness is outside of His scope. It’s the very character of what God uses for His glory. If you have felt hidden, set back or have been dealt curve balls that seem insurmountable, know that God Himself is the God of confinement, set backs and curve balls. He IS the almighty curve ball – One who came into this world as a baby, the greatest most majestic King who opted the tiniest human form to enter our world of sin and sorrow to redeem us in the most contradicting and surprising way. A King born in the messiness of a manger in a cave with barn animals. An exile from the start. Is that you?

If you feel little this weekend, place yourself at the feet of great big King Jesus who in his majestic Glory can bring greatness from nothingness. His Holy Family is one who knew suffering and set back, detour and hiddenness for the sake of revealing the Heart of a true King which doesn’t come to lord over over but to seek and save the lost. Our King is a servant. Our King was a spotless lamb who became a Sacrifice on the Cross. Our King had His side cut open to pour forth everlasting water of Grace and Mercy. A flow that is not stagnant, but teaming with Life.

Time is in His hands. Your life is in His hands. He works in the secret and hidden places. What is for you will not pass you by. If you are in the waiting and struggling in the confinement or on the run without a home, He is working and united with you there. May this feast of Christ the King and the coming Advent reveal His glory in greater ways and teach us all to love the hidden things in Christ as He prepares us, hides us, grows us in His love before He invites us to say “yes” to whatever curve ball requires our Fiat.

I love that we look first to Christ the King and then walk toward Christmas with the knowledge that it’s a baby who was born for our sake. God challenges us to be little all the time, so that His very greatness will come from that. Nothing we do is by our own power, but by His which should be the contradiction that enters the world we live in now. The world might be changing, but He never does. Our lives are a sign to His great power to do anything, even though we are nothing.

My hope is in Him – the great King who turns the world on its head and leads His people to His plan that is unchanging. God’s promise stands. His plan stands. When you see him move for you amid the chaos of change, virus, quarantine, separation and lack, it will be for His glory and you will testify to the New Born King who moved and did what he said He would do.

Pray with me. Praying for you+


partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. (2) A plenary indulgence is granted, if it is recited publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King. Remember – pray this in church on Sunday, November 21 or on Sat. Nov. 20.


Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968  


JESUS, Thou didst declare that Thy Kingdom is upon the earth, but not of the earth; it is a spiritual, supernatural Kingdom, the Kingdom of truth. It fights with the power of conviction, and conquers by this means the hearts that by right belong to it. Thou Thyself art witness to this truth, and Thou Thyself art the Truth. 

Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly a King because Thou hast come into the world to institute among people the rule of God; every person who is of the truth, who believes in God and recognizes His authority in human affairs, owes Thee a loyal and undivided allegiance and “hears Thy voice.” 

I am a member of Thy Kingdom, and Thou art my King. To Thee I owe loyalty, obedience, and love. Help me to carry out these most sacred duties toward Thee. I wish to be “of the truth ” that is “a child of God” and gladly to hear Thy voice and follow Thee in all things. I accept Thee as my King and submit to Thy authority. 

Reign supremely in my heart and in my life. Thy reign is heavenly peace; Thy law is love. Help me to pray and work that Thy Kingdom may come into every soul, every family, every nation. 

Jesus, since I honor Thee as my King, I come to Thee with great confidence, asking Thee to grant this special favor, if it be Thy holy Will: 

(Mention your request) 

Lord Jesus Christ, my King, I adore Thee as the Son of God, and through the prayers of Thy most loving Mother I beg of Thee, send me from out of the abundance of Thy loving Heart the grace of the Holy Spirit in order that He may enlighten my ignorance, purify and sanctify my sinful heart, and confirm me in Thy holy love. This I request through the love of the Father and the Holy Spirit, through Thine infinite mercy, and through the merits of all Thy Saints. Amen. 


CHRIST, Jesus, I acknowledge Thee as King of the universe. All that has been made has been created for Thee. Make full use of Thy rights over me. 

I renew the promises I made in Baptism when I renounced Satan and all his pomps and works. I promise to live a good Christian life. Especially, I undertake to help, to the extent of my means, to secure the triumph of the rights 
of God and of Thy Church. Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer Thee my poor efforts so that all hearts may acknowledge Thy sacred Royalty and the Kingdom of Thy peace may be established throughout the entire universe. Amen. 

Citations on the Kingship of Christ from Scripture

“The Kingdom of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the Gospel!” -Mk 1:14

“My Kingdom is not of this world. At this Pilate said to Him, ‘So, then, You are a king?’ Jesus replied: ‘You are right in saying I am a King. The reason I was born, the reason why I came into the world, is to testify to the truth.’ ” -Jn 18:36-39 

Breakthrough in the Year of Saint Joseph

Revelation, Instruction and the Grace to Follow Through

Do you guys know that this is the Year of Saint Joseph? I vaguely heard about it in the fog between the end of last year (the year that shan’t be named) into the start of this year, you know, pandemic 2.0.

I had just made it out alive from pandemia. And Los Angeles. Feeling like a hot mess and somewhat Biblical – though not transporting a holy family – just a slew of rolling suit cases (all five of them), my personal papers, a few holy images and my little Miss fading away California self. My lease was up and the inner “get up and flee” scripture was pounding inside my soul. California was plagued…by the plague and with much of the film industry shuttered AND being alone, LA LA land seemed just that. A sad movie.

Aint’t got time for THAT.

Flash forward to a new year and a familiar old coast with so much hope and promise, yet the barrage of obstacles and waiting and limbo and tight squeeze of living quarters (where are you Saint Joseph?!!) trotted into another WINTER. I’ve been squatting at my parents’ house until things even out in the spinning world, praying, waiting, praying more, branding my business, hanging with family that I’ve not seen as much as I wanted to in my many hectic years away, and working on myself.

My good friend Deacon Steve Greco called and proposed a massive undertaking for the YEAR OF SAINT JOSEPH. Deacon Steve prayed through Father Donald Calloway’s Consecration to Saint Joseph and it really transformed him. He had this desire to return the grace and gift he received back to the Church and any others like him who felt they didn’t have a strong enough devotion to Saint Joseph.

As he was talking and proposing that we collaborate on a massive gathering for Saint Joseph, I was thinking about what all this meant and where would this would all go. I was thinking “Am I devoted enough to Saint Joseph to take this on?” And I was thinking “Where is the consecration book – I need to do that!” And, “What if other things come along?… “Is there a way?” Above all, “What do you want Lord?”

For the longest I have loved Saint Joseph. He is formidable. I have leaned on his strength and looked to him, even without words, to sort out things that are difficult or lacking. Work, love, family… the hard things. When I worked in TV news, I always kept this tiny cheap plastic figure of St. Joseph on my desk in the newsroom as a reminder of his presence and intercession in my work. It helped, especially on the challenging days. When I left, my co-workers sent me off to new assignments with a party and a giant piñata filled with “I love Jesus” bracelets that cascaded out when crushed. Saint Joseph always pointed to Jesus in my life and helped me to be bold for Him even when it was hard or seemed foolish.

When I was living in Palm Beach, I immersed myself in the apocryphal gospels and various writings about Saint Jospeh. During the spring of 2015 and just before I moved to Los Angeles, I prayed the Novena to the Holy Cloak and it was the longest novena I ever prayed after the 54 day novena to the Blessed Mother. Extraordinary things were happening for me in work and life at that time and Saint Joseph seemed to really make his presence known. That was six years ago.

Flash all the way forward to this year which has been entwined with the glory and the Cross, letting go and dying over and over again to my own dreams and desires. So. Much. Death. To. Self. So much loss. So much transition. So much exile. So much unknown as if being blind folded. In the dark. Some of you might feel the same way, but for different reasons. So before LA and after LA, here is Saint Jospeh emerging like two massive bookends of his presence in this season of my life – the going in, the coming out, and the unknown future yet to be. It’s coming.

God ordained this time for you and for me as a particular point of grace for Saint Joseph to show up. I don’t know what’s been added or subtracted in your life. I don’t know what your daily struggle is. But I know that in these days where it can seem harder, longer, lonelier, that’s when Heaven breaks in. It’s the way of God. It’s the way He proves His power. It’s the way He confounds the world. In his generosity, he uses the Body of Christ to work things out on His behalf. Saint Joseph has the tools, he’s a working carpenter and we need to let him work.

The mission to bring about the Saint Joseph Summit and the friendship he offers to each and every single person comes at a time and place when many of us need the consolation of heaven and the best friend we could ever have to intercede for us, advocate for us, and care for us. Saint Joseph was entrusted with the highest call – to protect, love, provide for and serve Jesus Christ and his Mother. What would he not do for us? If life has failed you, or work has been scant, or if friends have betrayed you and let you down, or if suffering has overwhelmed you, I need you to make time to attend this summit. This is your invitation. Don’t miss it. RSVP right now! You don’t even need to leave your living room to have this encounter.

I hope you will join me and so many others at the Saint Joseph Summit – here are the formal details. It’s an all virtual event that takes place September 30 – October 3. Please register now by visiting www.SaintJosephSummit.com. The event is themed OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER: Pilgrimage to the heart of Saint Joseph and will be the largest gathering of Catholics in the Year of Saint Joseph. From priests who minister in Harlem to Biblical scholars to former models and filmmakers as well as Cardinals, bishops and media nuns, this is the most ON FIRE group of presenters whose love for Jesus and the saints will light every smoldering wick.

It turns out Saint Joseph has carried me this year. Maybe you need to be carried in a particular area of your life. I want to encourage you no matter where you are in this life – whether you are broken, or have left the Church, if you are stuck in sin and can’t find a way out, or if you are on fire with unshakable faith: join this summit and receive. God has something just for you. No one is coming to the summit and leaving the same.

The presenters will be speaking about various things under themes pertaining to the family, healing and spiritual warfare. I will be speaking about Revelation, Instruction and the Grace to Follow Through and how to know God’s will and do it. My witness will speak to hearts who may find themselves in a place of retreat and are waiting to hear from God and to know what move to make next. My witness will speak to the revelation we need from Heaven in order to do His will, even when it seems totally foolish to the world.

We are not living in easy times. We are living in times that require heroic virtue and heroes in Heaven to show us the way through the darkness, through the brokenness, through the noise, through our weakness, through our fears, through our past to the path that leads to Heaven. Saint Joseph is that man. Saint Jospeh had direct download from heaven – a divine strategy to make all the right moves. Let him move behind the scenes for you. I know I am.

Go to Joseph.

See you at the summit. . .

Praying for you+



Love Knows No Borders



Enter August. And with it some of my most favorite saints. To the point where it’s either multiple overlapping novenas (Catholic problems) or just pick one. I mean – the whole line up of God’s best really shows up in the dog days of summer: Saints John Vianney, Dominic, Lawrence, Edith Stein, Clare, Philomena, Maximilian Kolbe, Augustin, Monica and Our Lady. I love them all for various and significant reasons, especially Clare and Philomena who share an August 11th doubleheader and have really been with me for so long, interceding for my work and life. There are more, but these are my faves.

When I was a young TV news journalist working in Boston in the mid to late 90s, I was invited into a Rosary cenacle where one of the spiritual directors of the group was a Melkite married priest whose daughter was cured miraculously through the intercession of Saint Edith Stein. Who?

In 1987 Benedicta McCarthy was only two and a half years old and swallowed enough Tylenol that equalled 16 lethal doses leaving her in a coma, her kidneys and liver failing with her body in full staph infection. Named for Teresea Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), the family began to invite the Jewish nun to obtain a miracle to save little Benedicta’s life. Within days of entire groups of people joining in a prayer chain asking Sister Teresa Benedicta’s intercession, the little girl walked out of Massachusetts General Hospital totally healed. The Jewish doctor Ronald Kleinman from the prominent Boston MGH hospital, one of the best in the world, went on record saying,”‘I’m not saying it was a miracle…I’m saying it was miraculous. I’m Jewish. I don’t believe per se in miracles, but I can say I didn’t expect her to recover.” Dr. Kleinman eventually traveled to the Vatican where he was interrogated for five hours about the reported medical miracle.

At the time when this “miracle” began to swirl in the news, I was only in high school so it was not on my radar – I never even heard of this Edith Stein, the German Jew who became convert to Catholicism and a professed Carmelite nun in the order of greats like St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese de Lisieux, aka “the Little Flower.”

Stein was raised a devout Jew in the early 1900’s but in her teen years deliberately stopped praying and became an Atheist. A philosopher in pursuit of truth, she was led ultimately to Jesus Christ in a radical conversion leading to Carmelite religious life.

During the rise of Hitler, for safety, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edit Stein) and her sister Rosa, an extern sister, were sent to the Carmelite monastery in the Netherlands around 1938. Because of her Jewish heritage, at the time of the Nazi invasion of that country in 1942, they were arrested on Aug 2nd and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp where they died in the gas chamber on August 9, 1942.

In my little cenacle, a holy man in the group prayed with me very briefly and said that the Lord showed him that I was going to Europe. That it would be a great blessing in my life. I was dirt poor, working paycheck to paycheck in my early 20s and couldn’t really fathom what that meant. Or how I’d even get there. During this time, the cenacle members began to say “You are a Walkenstein, don’t you want to go to Edith Stein’s canonization in Rome?‘  I was talking to my mom and suggesting and asking – “do you think we should go? to thank God for daddy’s conversion?” I didn’t know much about Edith Stein, but I knew and loved the other prominent Carmelite saints in her religious order and yet somehow we were being beckoned to enter into this powerful moment in the history of the Church.  My dad was a Jewish convert to Catholicism and was Baptized in the fall of 1993 just a few years previous.

When God wants to move for you He will move. I started scoping out international airfare and to my shock were were able to purchase round trip tickets for something obnoxious like $300 round trip. Our cenacle family hooked us up with a way to stay in a convent steps from St. Peter’s square for $30 American dollars a night. We didn’t have “tickets” to the canonization Mass but just flew overseas on faith.  I’m a firm believer that when you take a step, God takes several big steps. This sort stepping out in faith produced some major fruit and an unforgettable first of many trips to Rome.

God provided this “shoe string” way for us to travel – my first trip to Rome and Europe and what would be three weeks embedded in Roman culture and steeped in extraordinary experiences at St. Peter’s, Edith Stein’s canonization, many encounters with Saint John Paul II and all under little direction from Sr. Nicolina who was our Italian host. (Go travel for a nun, and get a nun). When Sr. Nicolina “overbooked” the convent, she brought us up to sleep in the nun’s quarters. She was a true Italian mother – she made sure we had daily Mass and  tipped us off on all the Holy sites and where to climb  in prayer on my knees in petition for my future husband, she directed us away from a few dangerous things and told us where to find the best food. Our days were packed up to the gills with experience after experience, vision after vision and we’d return to the gated convent well past our curfew to Sister Nicolina waiting up to have the recap of the day and prep for the next. We fell in love with Rome and our new little Italian Sister tough loving mother.

Sister Nicolina guided our every move and directed us to the place where we would obtain tickets for the canonization Mass to be held at St. Peter’s Square in an outdoor Mass. We had to make a visit to Santa Susana, the American Church in Rome. As we climbed flights and flights of stairs in the October non air conditioned Rome heat, we were almost forced to rest at each landing where there was a window on each “level” with one bridal gown, another bridal gown, and another, each more exquisite than the first. A climb. It was glorious and beautiful – and bizarre. We are headed to the offices for this parish church in Rome and confronted with bridal gown after gown, so it sort of stuck out for us. All I could think of was the prayer in my heart for my vocation would require a spiritual climb. It was a beautiful visual presentation of a sort of “ascent” that revealed the top of the peak – His glory.

There were so many mystical and powerful things on this trip – and things not mystical – but, you know, Italian sensational-  like pasta, gelato, Italian men and fashion and leather! The fact that we took this trip with my aunt and two cousins made it the most special – something the five of us share in a way no other family members do. For my mom, Aunt Joan and my cousins Ann and Alaine, I can’t think of these days leading to Edith Stein’s feast without remembrance of this time that seemed to stand still. I marvel at the way we were all called to her together.

When you are a product of a mixed marriage, be it ethnic race or religion, there is always this reconciliation of that blending and the differences for me growing up were so distinct and unraveling in their beauty and mystery. Through Saint Edith Stein, I was understanding the beauty of the blending of heritages and the overarching common denominator among all God’s children which is love. Edith Stein by virtue of her Christian Baptism could have found a loophole to her decided fate at the gas chamber. Yet she refused to use her Christianity as a way to run from the Cross. No, she flew right into it in solidarity with her people.

When I recall the words of Saint John Paul in his homily on her canonization day, I am filled with emotion at the thought of little us, drawn so close to such great love. I know above all, it’s not so much about my Jewishness or Catholicness or my Gernmanness as the why – it’s that God wanted to draw us closer to the truth that true freedom comes from dying and being a martyr for Love. This is a truth the Lord wanted me to receive at my young age, but would not come to its fullest manifest understanding until maturity.

Some of the profound insight of Saint John Paul II about Saint Edith Stein is worth unpacking and reflecting on: “Truth and love need each other. Saint Teresa Benedicta is a witness to this. The ‘martyr for love’ who gave her life for her friends, let no one surpass her in love. At the same time, with her whole being she sought the truth, of which she wrote, ‘No spiritual work comes into the world without great suffering. It always challenges the whole person.”

And he goes on to say this, “”God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:24)… the divine teacher spoke these words to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. What he gave is chance but attentive listener we also find in the life of Edith Stein, her her ‘ascent of Mount Carmel.’ the depth of the divine mystery became perceptible to her in the silence of contemplation. Gradually throughout her life, as she grew in the knowledge of God, worshipping him in spirit and truth, she experienced even more clearly her specific vocation to ascend the Cross with Christ, to embrace it with serenity and trust, so love it by following in the footsteps of her beloved Spouse: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is offered to us today as a model to inspire us and a protectress to call upon.”

Our vocation is Love – no matter what path we elect to serve Christ. Our vocation of Love is to carry our Cross and unite with it, to pass through the fires of that Love that He bore with peace, assurance and ascent. The witnesses of Edith Stein’s presence as the newest prisoner at the death camps speak of her radical example:

“It was Edith Stein’s complete calm and self-possession that marked her out from the rest of the prisoners. There was a spirit of indescribable misery in the camp; the new prisoners, especially suffered from extreme anxiety. Edit Stein went among the women like an angel, comforting, helping and consoling them. Many of the mothers were on the brink of insanity and had sat moaning for days, without giving thought to their children. She immediately set about taking care of these little ones. She washed them, combed their hair, and tried to make sure they were fed and cared for.” (source: Edith Stein, A Biography)

In the storm and amid the “holocaust of love” as you offer your life in service to Christ in the area of vocation in which you are called, look to Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, as an example of the witness of radical love that knows no borders and ascends to the heights of His glory.

If you are reading this longer than normal blog today August 1st, we can travel together to Aug 9th with a little novena, asking this powerful saint of our lifetime for her powerful intercession in the area in which God calls us to live out this love by way of the Cross, a love that knows no borders.

Saint Edith Stein, pray for us!

Praying for you,


The One Who was Confined




The time in which we are living amid the horrific outbreak of coronavirus that has shaken the foundation of the earth and shaken homes and hearts. There is natural fear and concern amid the countless dead. We are glued to our TV’s and phones as we watch thousands in China, Italy, Spain, America and around the globe become sick and succumb to death. We are united in this suffering and emergency response. Our mortality is right before our eyes and, like the scenes of a movie, there is an inventory being taken.

Like many of you, I am adapting to a new normal of isolation and all out confinement to “flatten the curve” and it has become a radical time of preparation for provisions like water, food and medical supplies for homes and hospitals as all business is shut down. Together, we are feeling this pinch of confinement and our “flesh” is annoyed, feeling like teenagers that have been grounded unjustly. Our social posts are a cross between comedy and complaint, fear and horror. Food lines now exist in the United States because of the urged “social distancing” and people are going out in public with protective masks and gloves. The landscape is barely recognizable and it feels like something out of a science fiction movie or a war zone. Here in California, the Governor has issued radical orders to keep everyone isolated as the number of infected and dead climb. This is happening in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Chicago, Louisiana and other states around the U.S and world.

Life as we have known it on airplanes, public transportation, traveling for work, hosting in-person business meetings, sweating it out at the gym, casual trips to the mall and the movies, bars etc. are totally off the table. Catholic Mass and other church services have been shut down to the public in an unprecedented way all over the world. There is no hugging, touching, kissing. No human contact. People and families everywhere are at home armed with our computers and smartphones as our only link to the outside world with the exception of hikes and some outdoor self-distanced activities.  In Italy and popping up in densely populated areas, people are out on balconies singing with or to each other. These musical gestures of love and solidarity are captured on video and go viral. If you have a family in your home you have noise, family meals, home school and conversation all in the four walls of your home. If you are alone, you don’t.

Either way – all of this has become a place of total confinement.

When things became amplified, my family and I began praying twice daily by phone from LA to Boston. I’m the furthest away and I live alone. We decided to do this as an urgent call to prayer to protect our family from sickness and to keep our hearts at peace amid the escalating developments. My two cousins are on the front lines in the medical field and we are urgently and faithfully praying for their safety as well as safety for each and every family member. We pray the Divine Mercy chaplet at 3pm ET and the Rosary at 8pm ET and God is doing a lot through this prayer time. First of all, why have we waited so long to link up and cover ourselves together in prayer more intentionally in this way? God shows me there is great power to cover an entire household – believers and unbelievers – no just in a time of corona but ALL the time. I’m convicted. I pray a lot in my private life and live my life of faith very publicly in work and ministry, but I’ve been remiss in leading my family in a consistent and connected way. What have we been waiting for? What have I been waiting for?

Each day has been really profound and even if I want to end with the formal prayer (to get on with my confinement) – the Spirit of God is overwhelmingly present and wanting us to marinate in His presence. God has been revealing people in the family to pray for as well as priests and other loved ones. Today, however, the Lord was speaking to me about confinement.

The word and vision that manifested during prayer time was so profound that I am stepping out to share this with you for your own discernment.  I was able to see in a profound way the One who knew confinement better than us. The Lord permitted me to see the infant Jesus confined in the womb of Mary. I heard Him say, “I am the God of confinement.” I first began to see the Lord in Our Lady’s womb, His tiny body – the Son of God – pushed in the small space of her womb – GOD. – God of the Universe who made the whole earth by his breath and hands, the One who HOLDS the world in His hands made himself so little to come to us. He CONFINED himself out of love and made himself small, little, tiny, hidden – squished inside a woman’s womb- a Love that cannot be contained became contained – confined – inside a human body and was the most unknown and concealed for nine months. Then he was CONFINED and hidden for 30 years of his life. A nobody to anyone but Mary and Joseph. Hidden in the simplicity of the domestic life of work and duty, prayer and love. CONFINED to love them. CONFINED to prepare for His mission. CONFINED for the salvation of all of humanity. CONFINED that we might be totally set free. A self-offering of holy confinement.

Then the vision switched to the Cross on which Jesus hung and I saw the physical confinement of His broken, whipped body and His nailed hands and feet pierced on the Cross. I saw the confinement of his lungs – the lungs and very breath of Jesus Christ – CONFINED and pushed to a breathless, agonizing and suffocating state. The sins of humanity that confined and Crucified Him. I heard the Lord in my heart with an exhortation: that His very body is being broken and confined AGAIN right now on the earth – we complain about our milk, eggs, hand sanitizer , various needs having to “do” or “undo” life at this moment. He spoke to me in my heart, “I am the God of confinement. I am the one who is dying again on the earth – in the Chinese, in the Italians – with their lungs being pierced in the confinement of a death – alone and cast way. I am dying again on this earth. Look at me! Look to me! Do not look at your bank accounts,  do not look at your refrigerators. I am the God of confinement. Suffer a little with me and know how much God loves you, that I who AM WHO AM would confine myself out of my love for you – to condescend unto the earth to be born a man, suffer and die. This Lent, understand my coming, my confinement and my agonizing death. Look at those dying around you and make reparation for your complaint against confinement. Offer it up for these and your own sins.”

I then saw the confinement of the tiny white host of the most precious Eucharist. That the same smallness of confinement of Christ’s body remains always with us in utter confinement and hiddenness in the tiny white host- so much so that many do not know and understand that Jesus is the True Food come down from Heaven – the true food that remains with us. Hidden in the tabernacle, held in the hands of the priest and now confined away from us, the laity in this time. Again, “I am the God of confinement.”

Each day in prayer God is instructing in profound new ways and today on top of this, God is urging us to use this untimely confinement to know that He is limitless in what He is able to do, it’s the paradox of His coming. The one who was CONFINED is also LIMITLESS. In the same way we should understand that for our own lives, that we have access by virtue of His confinement to do greater things as he said in the Gospel and to use our voices to proclaim His Gospel to a world that is in dire need of Truth and Love. Do not let your confinement limit you to the couch, naps, counting your stockpile of food and feeling like this is an unbelievable staycation. God needs you to move for Him in the middle of this. He needs you to pray with your family, to proclaim the Gospel to those who are weak or afraid. He needs you to call people back who have been complacent and keeping themselves away from God and the sacraments.

You may feel powerless in this confinement and may not understand how you will work, eat, make money etc. You are concerned about whether you will be ill or safe and free from the deadly virus. Lean into the God who is the Confined Jesus and ask Him to manifest for you in this hidden time. The way He dwelt among Joseph and Mary, He dwells with you now and ministers unto you. The God who came to be confined, suffer and die, didn’t die in vain. He did so at great cost, freely for you and for me. (John 10:10).

Tap people on the shoulder and speak out the Gospel. God has made the whole earth supple right now. That’s the other word I keep receiving is that their is a suppleness – people who didn’t have ears to hear, will now hear. People who didn’t have eyes to see will now see. Like today’s Gospel of the blind man washing his eyes with mud. This confinement is for all of us a time to wash our eyes with the mud that makes no sense right now. In the obedience of this confinement experience – we wash in a mud that makes no sense to come straight out of quarantine with new vision, the eyes of Christ, a look of love that can transform the world. Our hiddenness right now is a mighty preparation for new and greater things. As Jesus was hidden for 30 years in the domestic life with Joseph and Mary, we too are in the womb of the domestic church preparing to do the greater things that He declared we would do. Now is the time, now is the hour. Be not afraid. Your confinement will be liberation for many. Your confinement united to His will will release a new power over the earth. Unite to Him that you will be in His Will for the glory of God.

Praying for you+


It takes three to make love


adult blur bokeh bright
Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com



Dearest Hearts,

It’s the month of love and that time when all things pink, red, heart shaped and romantic bounce off the shelves. I have zero time for the shops because I’ve been so busy and, maybe it’s me…but I haven’t seen a ton of V-Day bling in and around Los Angeles. Yup. Loveless in LA.

Single or hitched (single), I love the love and this February season. Maybe being from Boston it’s the idea of roses in winter or it’s just all the fun and flood of the woo. Maybe it’s because my parents are a Valentine couple, but I’ve never felt the crazy weird commercial pressure that some feel – totally freaked out by Valentine’s if they aren’t being romanced or create the need to associate with a “black” holiday or X it out as irrelevant.

C’mon lovas.

Tangent: I’ve never had a Christmas tree in LA because of the fact that I’ve never been in this back house for more then a few days at a time and it seemed like a waste. But five years into this California dream land, I put up not one, but TWO trees and yeah, you guessed, I morphed them into Valentine trees. There’s no pink or red but I stuffed them with white roses for a little feminine romantic flare. And they might just stay up forever. Or at least until my man breaks me out of here.

I meet a lot of single ladies along the way in my travels for work and in ministry and so many feel inferior due to their single status and find it challenging and isolating as they wait, especially in a countercultural way. You know exactly what I mean. I want to encourage all you single sisters (and guys) to never give up on love. If God has planted a desire in your heart for love and marriage, keep pressing in and persevering in prayer that you be strengthened to wait for the man God has for you. And when you have identified it – ACT. The Bible says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and favor from the Lord.” Saint Valentine is an excellent saint to pray to that your man will find you. And that you will have the capacity to wait and not take it into your own hands. (and that you men, will seek and find her). Above all, the foundation for all this is that you first have an intimate relationship with God. Without Him, you are flying extra solo.

If you have been following this blog for a while, it’s no secret that one of my heroes is Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. I “met” him through the book Three to Get Married (link to read it here.This book really changed my life because it’s the truth about what takes place between a man and woman in love and in the Sacrament of Marriage. Not for nothing, but no one is preaching this stuff from the rooftops or from pulpits or anywhere. The world is informing people in a way that encourages hook-up culture in a commitment-less haze of self pleasure that doesn’t point upward toward Heaven. And quite frankly, everyone is down right scared about the empty world “view” of modern relationships. 

There is a mystery to preserving this great gift for the one called to be yours. Sheen was prolific and was also a matchmaker, so you can team him up with Saint Valentine for a nuclear explosion of love. One of my MOST favorite Sheen quotes is:

“Two glasses that are empty cannot fill up one another. There must be a fountain of water outside the glasses, in order that they may have communion with one another. It takes three to make love.”

Nuclear. Do you hear that? We might feel like we have too much of a past, or are fearful about marriage “success” or we didn’t have good examples of marriage in our own lives to pave a little vision of the goodness of marriage for us. If the marriages around us seem empty, broken and failed, it could seem like an impossibility to do something well when there is such a call. And you know that everyone is dropping like flies. Sheen says, in order to love, we have to be filled by the Lover. As we make Christ our primary source for Love and an infilling of His spirit, that Love flows outward to our spouse – it creates a Trinity of Love and then flows outward to the entire world. A love that cannot be contained. Think of Christ’s side poured out from the Cross. A love so fierce, so radical in its witness can never be contained. It gushes forth. In marriage there is sort of a Divine Mercy. The above three sentences from Sheen blow my mind. God doesn’t want us to fail in love. He came for Love. He died for Love. He wants us to take flight in love and resurrect the wounded places. He invites us to imitate His Love and give him our wounds, pasts, betrayals and be renewed by making ourselves vulnerable in sacrifice for another. In the Sacrament of Marriage, we lay down our lives and become under the mission of Christ. So men, if you are under the mission of Christ, you will have all your need. In turn, the woman is in submission to her man who is under the mission of Christ. This is not some slavish reality. Don’t you want to be under the mission of a man under the mission of Christ? Covering. Shelter. Fire. Boom boom. Life changing power. World changing power!

I love that our culture celebrates a form of love and romance, but the reality is that this sweet “holiday” is at its root in honor of Saint Valentine who was a bishop and a martyr. He was a third century Roman saint who when in prison secretly married couples and while in prison healed his jailers blind daughter. He was eventually killed for his actions. Given the fact that we live in a society where marriage is under extreme attack so much so that there is a new loneliness penetrating the earth with so many single people uncommitted to a vocation, we should really lean into Saint Valentine as a heroic helper to lead people out of fear, out of bachelorhood, our of selfishness all the way to the altar. Saint Valentine is the patron saint of engaged couples, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, and travelers. There is a nine day novena that begins TODAY and ends on February 14th. Pray the novena

As hard as it is to come together in love, there is a grace period in the waiting. The truth of the matter is that love and fidelity do not begin at the altar. It starts way earlier as you wait my ladies in waiting (and gents. sorry, I just know many more girlie girls are reading my blog, but hopefully the guys are trolling too). I know for myself that I needed to be purified from the world and reformed in a way that really stripped me of worldly thinking about marriage. We live in a fallen world that holds up many false narratives about love and relationship that are simply impossible to follow and are a set up for misery and failure. There is a throw away culture that tells you leaving is ok, that self-sufficiency is ok, that you should get your way and do it all, you should keep your options open, and that waiting is from the dark ages. If love doesn’t wait now, how can it wait inside a marriage?

Waiting teaches us to stay. Waiting teaches us sacrifice. Waiting teaches us about the exclusive personal  love of God. Waiting is a supreme gift. Waiting is where we cultivate our love affair with the things of Heaven. If you have a past, it’s forgotten after Confession and should have no bearing on the good life of love you are being called to. Jesus forgave you and so will your spouse. The Sacrament will break all chains.  Is there anything more powerful than the Sacrament of Love where TWO become united in one flesh in His name? Unstoppable!!

WE are not perfect and the only really perfect Love is in Jesus Christ. No husband or wife will bring perfection, but He will bring His perfection to every aspect of the union. Why be afraid when He is the Divine Matchmaker and Divine Lover in between? Rooted in Him that Perfect Love penetrates and anoints, raises up, heals, blesses and brings power and grace that you could never have on your own. Fulton Sheen gives us another love smack:

“The human heart is not shaped like a valentine heart, perfect and regular in contour it is slightly irregular in shape as if a small piece of it were missing out of its side. The missing part may very well symbolize a piece that a spear tore out of the universal heart of humanity on the Cross, but it probably symbolizes something more. It may very well mean that when God created each human heart, he kept a small sample of it in heaven, and sent the rest of it into the world, where it would each day learn the lesson that it could never be really happy, that it could never be really wholly in love, that it could never be really whole-hearted until it rested with the Risen Christ in an eternal Easter.”

May your hearts be open to receive the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and may He unite your heart to the one your soul loves.

A toast to love!



How can this be?



So how’s your Advent going? It’s really hard to believe that we are THISCLOSE to Christmas and in some ways for the busy, pre-occupied, deflated or defeated, we may have only a flicker of light burning inside. Either from our own worldly doing or the world doing to us – maybe we are just not that ready or as prepared as we would like to be this year. We may not have all the feels as they say. Maybe we have not prepared Him room or maybe we have pushed all the Jesus aside for the glitter, sensory attributes of the season or have let negative reports drive our own narrative. I notice an online spiritual tug-of-war between the worldly side of Christmas and the authentically real aspects of how we can enter into the Gospel and be recipients of the same fire that overshadowed our Lady. The fire that brings something out of nothing.

There can be a dryness to Advent in the waiting and preparing even in the best and most perfect sense, but if you have had your share of disappointments or distractions, your Advent may not feel holy or like anything is happening.  If it feels like a sledgehammer came across and cold cocked your season of Grace, this is for you.

Some of my closest companions have received devastating news. Negative reports. And the Church is amid its own barrage of scandal that keeps the headlines hot. We’ve seen division in families and the family of the Church at the highest level. Then there is the litany of bitter politics, abortion on demand wars, and perversion at every level that seem to take prominence in the culture and God’s people can sometimes feel small or forgotten in the midst of all this. The authentic liturgical Advent season is pushed aside at every cultural corner and the glamour of rocking holidaze of parties and over the top commercialism is something that is exalted by the mainstream. Confusing for those not formed and tempting to everyone else when the romanticization of Christmas cannot compare with the prayerful preparation that is the water for the soul that none of us can do without.

It’s important not to to fear dryness. I only really came to understand this as a Los Angeles resident. As a life-long Bostonian and east coaster setting up my career nests in New York, Palm Beach and D.C etc., wildfires were not something I was ever acclimated toward. Recently, I was praying with a beloved woman in my life about something specific and when she said, “something has to happen here it’s so dry” … that’s when it struck me. It’s when it’s THAT dry, THAT dusty, THAT much of a wilderness of barrenness, that FIRE not only strikes, but erupts and bursts forth – and it cannot be contained.

My favorite Gospel passage is Luke Chapter 1. It’s the Annunciation Gospel and it contains so much, that you can unwrap each layer of Truth about the character of of God the Father and his elect, and most especially Our Lady. There is so much contained in this revelatory passage that we can glean from and because His word is alive, we can apply it to our own circumstances. We encounter the central figure of the Christmas story, Mary, the Mother of God. Mary, an unknown only to God is the one who has so much favor with Heaven, Heaven stoops down to her.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.


Here we encounter a virgin named Mary. Heaven comes down, literally, in the form of an angel – God’s highest messenger – Archangel Gabriel. Do we believe that Heaven can stoop down to us? Do we believe in the prophetic word as a charism of the Holy Spirit of God? The power of God came unto Mary who was set apart for God. She was set apart at a young age and consecrated in the temple by her holy parents. She was destined for greatness before the beginning of time. How are we setting ourselves apart for the Lord? Mary was favored because she was Immaculate. She had no sin in her and there was room for fellowship with her Creator. It’s so interesting that while there was no room at the “inn” for the newborn babe, Mary was so spotless, that she was the first to make Him room.

This profound fellowship that Mary enjoys with heaven permits her to know and understand the things to come. Not in a new age way or a self-serving narcissistic way – but in the way that God permits us to know and understand His Will.  The invitation to step into God’s will enables her to respond freely with a yes or a no to Heaven’s call. Being set apart brings Heaven down, being in a state of grace permits us to have the favor of wisdom of the “things to come.” To the level and degree that we wash ourselves in the Blood of Christ and through the Sacrament of Confession – this is the grace that brings about fellowship and a receptivity to the Holy Spirit.

How can this be? Mary asks the angel about the possibility of the Incarnation, of pregnancy when “She does not know man.” There are many things you might be questioning in your own life – how can I be healed? how can my loved one be healed? How can I finance this endeavor? How can I recover from depression or anxiety? How can I be faithful to the call of God on my life when the pull of the world is so strong? How do I wait one more second for the results of my long-awaited prayers?  DO NOT FEAR. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL COME UPON YOU. The Angel Gabriel exhorts Mary to not be afraid. This is step one in receiving the power and presence of the Lord. The angel then says it will all happen by the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice how Mary didn’t question further. She had one question about HOW and then she said YES. Be it done unto me.

You might be experiencing a wasteland of an Advent where you don’t see the results of your prayers or your plans have been temporarily demolished by attacks, delays, or wicked people.  You may have fear welled up inside that has paralyzed you. The angel says there is no room for fear. You might have sickness in your body or something that a loved one is fighting and do not see any good coming from the pain. It may seem all down to nothing and that fidelity to an invisible God is not worth it and you’ve just decided to go through the motions or give up.

In this season of waiting, Mary is the model of faithfulness – she who was so hidden, so little, so unknown to people, unknown to man in the form of a husband and the touch of human love, unknown to society,  yet SHE was the one who found high favor. She was the one who was visited by a Heavenly messenger. She was the one who had the FIRE of the Holy Spirit come down on her to bring about something from nothing. She is the model of fidelity to God’s plan that brings about the Word made flesh among us and subsequently all those around her become blessed. This is something to reflect on. When you are living in the will of God, everyone around you will be blessed. We see that no one in Mary’s life is left behind: Elizabeth her “kinswoman” also  conceives and bears a son in her advanced age. The angel says “nothing will be impossible for God!”

What you can’t see in the wilderness is the breeding ground for His fire. What you are waiting for in your set-apartness will bear good fruit. When you say YES to God in a Fiat of surrender like Our Lady, even when you can’t see the end result or the possibility of what God is asking of you, it’s by the Holy Spirit that this will be accomplished. That’s when you will be able to say it’s by God alone has this been done.

Let us ask our Lady to loan us her disposition in the waiting and preparing for Christ’s coming in every area of our lives. He is capable. He will do it. He will establish it. He. will bring fire. He is faithful and what He started, He will finish and bring to a good joyful result. Be God’s by grace of the Sacraments and watch and pray for His coming in glorious triumph to your long awaited promises.

Blessed Advent!

Praying for you+


Captured by Love



It’s remarkable that there are only 30 days left of this year  – this decade. Well, 29 for the East Coast. See, I really am an Angelino.

Where were you ten years ago? I’m not gonna lie. I’m writing this from my parents’ in Massachusetts and my brain feels so frozen, Elsa could show up at any moment. And this blog could literally be all over the map just like my life. But seriously. To contemplate all the moments of the past ten years is impossible. I’m thinking of Palm Beach, Boston, The Maximus Group and 20 movie openings in two years, the big Boston PR firm and the rocket ship move cross country to LA that broke everyone’s heart in New England. NO one saw that coming.

The reality is the majority of the past tens years have been lived in Florida and in LA. Bookends around this curvy and surprising decade. Ten years ago, I was living and working in Palm Beach fresh out of TV news and in a new territory of Church work and evangelization. It was a time of radical transformation and sacrifice. Above all, I think the last ten years were the years where I have been captured by Love.

My baby Catholicism of my early 20s was refined through sacrifice, mortification and women who became my spiritual mothers to form and re-form me, tearing off by prayer the messy worldliness that likes to attach to you and lay a claim on you. The truth is Heaven wants to claim each and every one of us, if we would only let ourselves be captured by Love.

This time ten years ago I also began my spiritual friendship with Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. An unexpected saint-to-be who broke into my life as an intercessor for my work in media and evangelization as well as in the radical formation and preparation for the vocation of marriage. (Don’t worry, he’s coming). Studying Sheen’s words and pastoral instruction on marriage in Three to Get Married reshaped my understanding of marriage. So much of what the world wants to tell us about relationships is not what Glamour magazine says, but rather what Heaven reveals. I think so many marriages and vocations fail because of false expectations.  I’m so grateful for the grace of time to refine and purify. This introduction had to occur before other introductions could take place with God’s eternal time stamp.

Even after my season in Palm Beach, Sheen stuck like glue and our friendship expanded in ways that were unimaginable. At the culmination of my encounter with the force of love that Sheen is from the heavens, I asked him to intercede for me before Jesus for 5 impossible intentions – 3 for others and 2 for me. Over the course of these ten years, four have been achieved in the most miraculous and fierce ways. Some instantly. Others like slow release time bombs. One that remains.

The past ten years instructed me on sacrifice, self-offering, going where He leads and laying my own will down. The past ten years solidified my relationship with Our Lady. I was called to a 54-day Rosary Novena that catapulted me to movie work that led all the way to Hollywood. I was instructed to pray for my husband in those 54 days and the earthquake of prayer moved my feet places I would never take myself. Mary and Sheen were behind everything that is happening now. The rear view mirror is spectacular. Co-writers in this decade-ish long love story.

In these final 30 days of this year, this decade, we enter into the liturgical season of Advent to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord at Christmas. This means having a disposition of expectation and anticipation that what God promised, He will deliver.

One of the miracles of Advent in this final 30 days is that we are especially given over to Our Lady, the Mother of God. She shows us perfectly the call of love, the mystery of waiting and anticipation and the fellowship with the Trinity of Love that disposes her to God’s favor and radical service.

Do you have regrets from the past ten years? Do you believe that He can repair and redo things that you missed the mark on?

The miracle of Advent is that everything is made new. Confession washes everything clean.  If there is one thing you can do this season, it’s to take an inventory of your life and see where you have fallen short. We all have. The Sacrament brings you face to face with Christ and it’s more powerful than an exorcism.  Your soul becomes as new as a newly Christened baby with an honest Confession. I’m talking to you – if you have not been in the past ten months or ten years, this is your call to be made new. The power of God will come over you in ways that you have not seen to set you free from anything that you are in pain over. God is a God of second chances, even in the 4th quarter.

I know. You have your squad and that’s all you can handle. But let me tell you. The most loyal and faithful of friends are the friends that are in Heaven. We all have liked and shared those instagram memes that say something like “if your squad isn’t cheering you on, get a new circle.” #Truth because there are saintly friends behind the veil who will be more loyal than you can imagine. This is a special month not just because of Advent and Christmas, but we honor our Lady with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 and the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. This decade was super special to have two beautiful trips to Mexico that included being under Our Lady’s Tilma. An imprint on my heart and soul like no other. Surprises of this season that leave me wanting more. Expecting more.

Fulton Sheen’s memorial is December 9th AND the Diocese of Peoria announced a few weeks ago that Sheen’s Beatification will take place this month on December 21. The Beatification will fittingly close out the 100th year of the anniversary of Sheen’s ordination to priesthood. (and this decade). No one expected a Beatification in the heartland to take place in the dead of winter, but it’s JUST like this saint-to-be who is all drama as he collaborates to bring about God’s story for humanity. For me it’s uniquely personal that he is completely bookending this decade.

My two greatest heavenly friends of these past ten years have been Our Lady and Bishop Sheen. (JP2, try not to knock them down, you are my #1) This decade. THIS decade is so so unique and nothing I would pick for myself. Not the places. Not the people. Not the heavenly helpers. Our Lord has plans for us over and above anything we could ever imagine. He adds and rarely subtracts and does things to a higher level.

I know that the Blessed Morher and Bishop Sheen are holding me by the hand – one on one side and and one on the other (maybe JP2 is strutting around this posse! Yep, he’s involved..) and walking me to my desitnation. It’s the pace of Heaven and when you walk with them, you are never early and never late.  Something to contemplate over the next 30 days. Each piece of the past ten years, even the most broken, confusing or scary paths are leading forward to Love.

I’m believing that these last 30 days will be the best of days. Best for last.

Praying for you+

Lexi 🌹