I have loved three men in my life. One I was engaged to and did not marry, one I married, and one I was neither engaged to or married.
Now, it has always been interesting to me that these great loves of my life were English.
One, was an English Jewish convert, whose family had been in London since the 16th century. One was descended from the Danes and the Normans from the 8th century and 11th century. The third came from old English stock as far back as the 12th century.
My great love for England and my passionate love for the Faith and the Church in England became focused like a laser pointer in these relationships.
In each encounter, I learned to love England more and more, as well as loving the person more and more. The blood and bone, soul and mind of these three men taught me to love England and the Catholic Church in England more and more. Each one taught me something new about my own faith as well.
There is no mistaking that this all was part of a plan in God's Mind to keep alive in me a passionate desire to bring others to Christ in England and more so, to strengthen the Church in England in any way that I could.
My missionary heart and my woman's heart merged into one big flame at these three different times. From the one marriage, came my son, the seminarian, no accident, but a God incident of the first degree.
He is named after two martyrs and a bishop. He is English through and through. He is dedicated to Mary. He loves England, our home.
Now, my love for these men has not faded. It has changed, but love is love, and if from God and not tainted by lust or selfishness, love brings one to God. Love is the stairway to God. One may suffer loss, but love transcends loss, and becomes the grist of prayer and sacrifice. And, real love of a Catholic sister for her Catholic brothers never ends. It is the love of heaven.
Of course, because of circumstances, I was not allowed to be in these relationships. In each case, my love was not answered with love or constant commitment. In other words, I was spurned.
Today, in Adoration, God showed me that He is in the same position, and let me experience through my very soul and heart a tiny bit of His tremendous love for the laity of England and for the Church.
Christ's love remains unanswered, unappreciated, unrecognized by the vast majority of English men and women. He yearns for His Mother's Dowry to be renewed, strong and pure. He loves England in a special way. Christ will not lead Mary back to England until there is a band of strong men to greet her. Spiritually, we need that renaissance of holy knights.
In my own small way. God has let me join Him in His love--a teeny-tiny way.
But, here is what is absolutely wonderful. God wants the laity of England renewed in order to renew the clergy. Most people think the other way around. No, God wants strong, dedicated, loyal lay people to renew the Church by evangelizing, by creating strong families, by forming saints in the home, by nurturing vocations.
It is not the other way around. God wants to raise up strong men and women to challenge the mediocrity of the clergy in England.
God wants that old Anglo-Saxon and Norman courage, that rich Hebrew heritage, that Danish independence, to stand up and create a new Church, full of traditional Catholics who are leaders.
They are out there. I know some. I have loved some.
God is calling England to renewal right now in the midst of clerical crises.
It is up to the laity to respond, now, and not with arguments or antagonism, but with love and real leadership.
Bede, Anselm, Boniface, Richard of Chichester, Etheldreda, Stephen Harding,the great mystics, came out of the same stock which died at Tyburn. They were formed on English soil, by English culture, the English Church.
Where are those courageous hearts now? Where are these daring men and women? Where is the new cloud of witnesses?
Where are the recusants, the remnant?
This is the call of the laity, to keep the Church going in hard times when the clergy is either too weak or decimated by persecution.
With great love in my heart for my adopted country, which has also spurned me, I pray for the renewal of the recusant heart and mind. I desire so much to help the Church in England. Let Mary come and guide us all again.
Ave Maris Stella, guide us, lead us to forgiveness and light.