RADICAL IMPRINT OF LOVE: TEARING AND BINDING
2017 was watershed in many ways and foundational to all the “new” that is being built in my life. A lot of passing of the “old” to make way for His breakthrough and destiny to be fully realized in my life. There was labor, loss, travel, triumph, surprise and speed in only the way the Holy Spirit creates, breaks, burns and liberates, binds and changes things up…and that’s not just me going from platinum to a rootier edgier blonde, haha! In all seriousness, I have a tremendous joy welling up inside me as this year comes to a dramatic finish with the new, I would say, already birthing and breaking forth like the dawn. I have glimmers of where I am going and who I am traveling with…
The old is passing.
The greatest sorrow of my year, the most dramatic for my family, was the passing of my grandmother, my mom’s mom, to Eternity. We have been preparing for this spiritually and emotionally for some time now. No matter how ready you think you are, nothing can prepare a human heart for this type of loss.
This past year was really her final preparation as we watched my gram die to this life and move fully into the Arms of Love. When I traveled home to Boston for Thanksgiving break, God showed me I was going home for her passing. I’m so grateful she waited for me and that we were permitted to be by her side in vigil for three days and nights in her final battle on earth, her final offering of suffering this side of Eternity. It was so like our Lord’s Passion and we were able to tell her how much we loved her, to pray her to her heavenly home with the Rosary, to plead Mercy and sing praise around her bed for the gift of her life. She was the matriarch of our family in truest fashion and held us all together. Life without her will never be the same and my little heart feels shattered sometimes as the sorrow comes unexpected and like a river. But the true reality of our faith tells us without a doubt that Heaven is our home and that we are united in the Body of Christ especially at every Mass. I know this loss is also the greatest gift as she is one of my (our) most fierce intercessors.
She was mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, sister, and cousin. She was ushered home on the obscure, yet powerful feast of the Presentation of Mary. Important to us because of Anne’s role in our family (many of us are named Anne in some format) and that of Our Lady. This was a great sign and consolation that Our Lady with St. Anne presented my grandmother to the Lord. Plus, let’s face it – my grandmother wanted to be presented! (Drama!) Significant that I was recently at the Shrine of St. Anne in Quebec over the summer, a powerful place of grace where all my intentions were laid down including that of a peaceful holy death for my gram. Such an answer. Heaven’s response. A true blessing of this year in review.
The new is coming.
Prior to traveling home for this profound life event, the Lord placed in my heart that at Christmas I was to travel on a spiritual pilgrimage to prepare the way for what’s coming next in my life. (Is 43:19). The Lord brought me to Los Angeles in the fall of 2015, in what was the complete and total surprise gift of my life that expanded and opened up new territory, spiritual family and roots in a place that God has prepared for me from the beginning of time. There are no flukes in the Kingdom of God. What He wills, He does if we avail ourselves to His design, even if others get in the way or we get in God’s way. I thank God that I didn’t resist His plan despite the thorns, unknown and occasional loneliness. (Psalm 147)
At Christmas, God was saying MEXICO! (I was saying Rome!) But the Lord, pounded on my heart and this celestial invitation from Our Lady become a reality and was confirmed in the most profound way under direction from one of my spiritual mamas in Florida and a holy priest who confirmed this trip basically mapping it out. Next to my whirlwind move to LA, no trip or circumstance has happened as fast as this Mexican trip. Closing down 2017 and offering Christmas in a radical way to Our Lady of Guadalupe was a crowning moment and a signal grace of what God is building in my life. I’m so grateful that Heaven’s call and God’s Divine Will overpower my own will, because the mini pilgrimage of blind faith was flooded with surprise graces and special divine encounters. God wouldn’t let me miss.
Normal family life would dictate that I be with those in grief or go back to that place of loss, but the Lord was calling me forward and preparing me for what He’s about to add into my life. God is the best mathematician and he always multiplies. I wasn’t sure what Mexico would be like, or what it would be like to be on my own at Christmas but it was truly the most joyful, blessed and fortifying trip. Mexico City was full of love and affection, romance and glamour (hello!) and an abundance of faith. A complete sensory experience, I was overcome at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe which I visited twice. The people movers that position you underneath the miraculous tilma seemed so completely odd, and because I could not get enough, I kept going around and around like luggage on a conveyer belt for each and every heartfelt prayer request. Aint no pilgrim like this aggressive American pilgrim going in for the overflow! There is really only one big intention that I traveled for and God already shows me the dam is about to burst. Sometimes we have to move our feet and then God makes his move. Hola!
Mount Tepeyac was more powerful than I anticipated. We climbed atop the hill and prayed in the place where Saint Juan Diego received the miraculous roses that Our Lady instructed he was to take to the Bishop as a sign. Read more about this approved Marian apparition here. Our Lady’s love for the laity, love for her sons – the Bishops, and her ability to bring about the miraculous as she stands in intercession to change history completely overwhelmed me. I love that Heaven is creative, romantic, and surprising!
We also visited the church of the Holy Family where the body of Blessed Miguel Pro is housed, an important experience because of my work on the movie For Greater Glory back in 2012. Pro is not mentioned in the film, but he was a central figure in the Cristiada as a martyr and one who was “undercover for Jesus” (my kind of guy!) fearless for the name of Jesus Christ. I felt this pull to pray near him and call down his intercession. Those early movie days were central to all that is unfolding in my life now and there was a massive grace in this particular Church on Christmas Eve in beautiful Mexico City. Padre Pro said, “prepare your intention for Heaven, because I will be your greatest attorney.” BOOM!
This year, I started by own business called AWE!, took the helm as host of Mary’s Touch radio show and completed my first published work Ex Libris: Fulton J. Sheen set to be released next April 2018 by Pauline Publishing. This past year was a year of transition and very foundational as ministry grows and expands for His glory. This is just the beginning. I consecrated each of these endeavors to Our Lady.
God is surprising me again with the gift of a trip to Florida for New Year’s and my birthday, a grace to spend the first few weeks in Palm Beach where God has blessed me abundantly, the place of my most profound spiritual growth and transformation, a place of leaping forward in the Holy Spirit and where God worked so many miracles for me. I believe there is such a thing as the grace of a place and with that in mind, I’m traveling with blind faith to spend some time praying in 2018 and all the victory and miraculous breakthroughs that HE has for this season of my life. Cheers to new beginnings and fulfillment. Grateful for this past year, blessing those who have traveled with me and those HE is placing on my path for what’s manifesting now. There are no coincidences with God. Bring it on!
What is He doing anew in your life? How will you respond to this grace?
Praying for you+