I have spent many years pondering Our Lord’s words to Martha in defense to the Magdalene of Leave her alone, Mary has chosen the better portion which will not be taken from her. What is this “better portion?” I recently read more in depth of what became of Martha, Mary and Lazarus after the Resurrection […]Saint Mary Magdalene’s Cave of Concealment. — Mary’s Secretary
Lord wants the Cathedral of our souls to last a life time and to remain standing even amidst the earthquakes (the temptations). I have been so astounded, so amazed in how Our Lady has laid the groundwork in my own life to lead me to Her Son. I will end with the “process” Our Lord has designed for me that led me to desire a true life of solitude. I once had a conversation with a priest where he said
You know when God closes a door? Then He closes another door, then another door, then a another door…before He opens the right one.
These constant closed doors have been my greatest battles, but I suspect they have all been a part of Divine Providence and to expand my heart to embrace the cross, the life of the Magdalene.
I was accepted into the Franciscans of the Immaculate, a missionary order and right when I was going to enter, this poor community came under attack by the Holy See and was closed down. Door closed. Missionary life opened my heart to the very idea of religious life and ultimately led me to the Poor Clare’s of the Immaculate, a cloistered order in Italy. I was accepted and just as I was set to enter- my Spiritual Director at the time strongly believed it was not God’s will to enter THAT particular cloister, so believing God spoke through him, I obeyed. Door closed. The Poor Clare’s prepared me for the Carmel of Jesus, Mary And Joseph. I received my acceptance into Carmel and I entered; I fell in love with the Carmelite customs, but community life was what truly prepared me for the call I never dreamed possible- at least not in these “modern times”. But then again, I have always been traditional in just about every way possible.
The door closed with community life. These frequent opened and closed doors are a beautiful symbol, because as soon as I departed Carmel, my current Spiritual Director and Carmelite Confessor sent me a Novena to the Sacred Heart. This Novena is specifically made for:
I beg Thee to open every door which will allow me to find the precious pearl of my own calling in life and to embrace it with a generous heart; please steer me away from any path which would lead me away from my true vocation, and if necessary, close those doors before me.
We always hear about that simple and easy to understand concept of Our Lord living outside of time (I am being sarcastic in case you missed that) and all these doors with different religious orders closed before I even began this Novena. I believe firmly that Jesus and Mary began closing these doors because living outside of time, They knew one day I would make this Novena. The part I love the most is how I started this nine day series of prayers not at all knowing what feast day I would finish it on: my all time favorite Carmelite Saint and Father, John of the Cross. He himself drew the famous map that would lead to the very top of the mountain of Carmel. Sometimes God works in very mysterious ways, other times He makes things pretty obvious.
Of course after all these years it only makes sense why Christ and His Mother have taken Their time with me because I never would have believed without all those experiences and unexpected “closed doors” that living like the Magdalene (minus the cave, hopefully a secluded hermitage with indoor plumbing in my case) is still a vocation loved, needed and desired to be had in the very heart of the Catholic Church by Christ Our Lord. It almost seems like a fairy tale, but this process overtime has taught me the most valuable lesson of all: once a soul becomes accustomed to conversing with Jesus and Mary alone, conversing with men pales in comparison. I think in this society of noise we have been the ones to drown out the sweet voice of God (which often comes in a whisper). Our Lord doesn’t shout, He is not going to compete with the chaos of the world to get our attention. It’s not that He doesn’t want to, but Our Lord is a Gentleman; He doesn’t force Himself upon us. Even if not all are called in the literal sense to live like Mary Magdalene, let us all strive to at least live in the spirit of her and seek this “better portion” in the very center of our souls and create a hermitage or cave within for Christ the King and Mary the Queen. Let us learn to love silence, for everything lies in that!