Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘Glory’

The Spiritual Desert…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on July 31, 2017

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil… Ps 23:4

Republished: 7/31/17

The Lord has told me I have more that He wants me to write, but I need to cut off all distractions. So I’m looking for that retreat He wants me to take and in the mean time, finding myself entering into a prepatory stage by entering into the Spiritual Desert. Wanna know more? Read on, dear friend, read on…

Updated: 8/16/11  Today I found in my e-mail a wonderful surprise, AND I discovered I can add it directly to this page!  It’s a wonderful confirmation of all this post says: We must do all things in LOVE as we hope to obtain holiness and peace.  The good with the not so good, the triumphs AND the trials.  God IS with us, He will NEVER abandon us.  Embrace His LIFE, His DEATH, and receive HIS RESURRECTION!  You can also go HERE to Recalibrate your Heart…

In my last two writings I’ve made reference to my recent journey into the Spiritual Desert.   In this post, I hope to address what the Spiritual Desert is, it’s purpose, and it’s effect thus far on me in the hopes of helping others who might also be experiencing their own desert wanderings.  In doing so, I also want to refer periodically to this month’s Monthly Message from the Lay Apostleship as it applies brilliantly to my recent desert excursion.

Purification by desert is nothing new to the Christian Life.  Abraham (Gen 12) went through it, Moses (Exodus 2:15 ) went through it, as did many prophets,  and of course Jesus Christ, Himself (Mt 4; Lk 4; Mk 1: 12-13).  And though the afore mentioned desert journeys were merely prefigurations of  Christ’s own desert time, they all had the same theme: PURIFICATION and PREPARATION for greater things to come.  Just think about that…

Father Abraham

Abram, in his wanderings, came to Trust in God so much that God made a holy covenant with him and ALL his descendants right to this very day.  But He was only able to do so by PREPARING Abram to become Abraham, the father of a Great Nation.


Similarly, Moses had to experience a separation from the world in which he grew up – among the courts of Pharaoh.  In taking Moses out of Egypt God prepared him to return years later to carry out God’s plan of bringing the Hebrew nation back into the land God had promised to Abraham and his descendants. 

Prophet Isaiah

And in all the wanderings of the prophets and their successors, God prepared them to speak to a stiff necked people, and call them back to Himself; but first He had to purify them by separating them from their brethren.

40 Days in the Desert

God did nothing less for Himself.  Retreating to the desert, the second Person in the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, sought after the communion He has with His Father so to give witness AND example to those who would follow after Him.  They, too, would come to understand they have a Father in Heaven that they can have communion with because of the Son; which is why He taught us to say, “Our Father who art in Heaven…” And that’s what this journey is all about: COMMUNION with the FATHER through the SON by guidance from the HOLY SPIRIT and a PURIFICATION and PREPARATION for the greater things to come!


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. ~1 Cor 13: 1-3

Did you know that piety and pious actions can get in the way of holiness? 


Let me explain…prayer, chaplets, novenas…all these are WELL and GOOD in themselves and have GREAT efficacious graces attached to them…BUT if the person determined to do these does them WITHOUT LOVE and with only a sense of obligation, they have become, “A noisy gong or a clanging symbol.”  Their outward appearance seems very spirit-filled, but their hearts are truly empty because they have NOT LOVE with which to fill them up.

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine…

In the Spiritual Desert, one is brought to that point where LOVE is the only thing that will sustain them.  Prayers, novenas, chaplets become meaningless and difficult to pray so the soul CRIES OUT for the only ONE who can give them life by His LOVE.

But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8

Thus the total relying on Christ becomes the WATER and FOOD during this desert journey, and the times of quiet and solitude are crucial.  It is here where cunning old Satan plans out his attacks by giving the soul not food and water but DISTRACTIONS…!


rumors…earthquakes…plagues…nation against nation…

The world is constantly changing, now more so than ever before, but the concern of the servant of Christ is NOT for this changing world BUT for our CHANGING SELVES as we desire more and more to grow in holiness…

Do not be distracted by events around you. Do not be drawn into thinking that many events or big events mean that you can take your eyes off of the process of becoming holier. ~Monthly Message, August 1, 2011.

Daily activities then become the focus.  By this I mean everything I would do during my day I did with LOVE and a clear CONSCIOUS INTENTION of doing, which oddly enough, brought me back in line with the work God is doing in me.  Why?  Because I was DOING HIS WILL without reservation, I was not allowing outside distractions of money, unemployment, anarchy, etc, etc…to get in the way of pursuing the holiness God has called me to…

I speak gravely when I say to you that you must concentrate seriously on becoming holier because your holiness and your commitment to holiness is a crucial part of My plan to bring comfort to others.  Allow Me to see to the world. ~Ibid…

So even though I am aware – very much aware – of the events unfolding daily as I have chosen NOT to bury my head in the sand, and yet at the same time, I have NOT allowed these things to OVERTAKE me and become my soul-focus… Yes, pun intended…

For Christ told us these things would happen…

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place…For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places; all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death…for My name’s sake… many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another…false prophets will arise and lead many astray.  And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. ~Mt 24: 6, 7-8, 9, 10, 11-12

So these things are unavoidable – some sins will not be remitted – and ALL mankind must reap the punishment due for our actions.  But for the individual PERSON seeking out HOLINESS, their endeavor is to focus on the LOVE of CHRIST as found in themselves from birth and SEALED by their BAPTISM having been created in the image and likeness of God (cf Gen 1:26), through their daily activities to which God has called them to.



Because we are created in God’s image and likeness, it is only NATURAL that we should desire a more complete union with our Creator in Whom we share so much; and yet, satan is ever cunning and watching for those “chinks in the armor” of human LOVE for the divine so he tries yet another tactic – personal failure… This is where my greatest weakness lies, PATIENCE, or rather the lack of patience with myself and patience with God.  Which is why, when this month’s message came to me, I was deeply humbled as all that God had tried to achieve in me came to mind as well as where I had prevented His change because of my impatience.

Perhaps you identify My teachings as good but you feel frustrated because you see that you fall short on some days. This is when you must be truly patient and trust that I AM bringing you along as quickly as is needed.

Remember that you may see very little progress on some days, but your decision to remain with Me in the process of becoming holier creates a disposition for heaven that keeps the light where it should be, that is, on the need to examine yourself for failure…

Yes, patience is necessary, both with oneself and with others. I, Jesus, am patient with you. And so you must be patient with yourself. And then you must be patient with others. ~Monthly Message, August, 2011.


Knowing that I must rely entirely on LOVE because the task of praying became exactly that, a task.  No LOVE was behind my decision to pray for I did it out of a sense of obligation.  Satan used this- quite brilliantly I might add – in an attempted to make me seem UNFAITHFUL to God or a HYPOCRITE in the living of the Christian Life.  Here’s a little of what ol’ red-boots had to say to me:  You’re not praying in the traditional manner, you’ve set aside all your lofty deeds, you can’t do anything righteous or for the good of mankind…God does not love you.

As someone recently said to me, “If satan spends that much energy attacking you, then you’re on the right path doing EXACTLY what God would want you to do.”  Which is true, satan doesn’t attack those who are NOT following God’s Will for if he did he would essentially attack himself! What would the point of that be?

If you see daily to the condition of your soul and if you love others then you will have fulfilled My plan for you. ~Ibid

Being able to accept my failures and allowing God to work through them requires TRUST that God KNOWS what He’s doing.  He doesn’t choose people arbitrarily, nor does He choose those who are necessarily perfect and well disciplined.  Nope, often times He chooses the weak, the down trodden, those who seem (at least to themselves), to fail over and over again…

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not now how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs to deep for words.

And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the Will of God.

We know that in everything God works for good with those who LOVE Him, who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:26-28

So I can join St Paul and rejoice in this present suffering…

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~Romans 8:18

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope… ~Romans 5: 3-4

For in this hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. ~Romans 8:24

…and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s LOVE has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ~Romans 5:5, emphasis added


The Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent and believe in the Gospel!

And that, my friends, is the WHOLE POINT of the Desert Journey.  To prepare the servants of Christ the Returning King for the Glory that is to come that IS HIS, purifying His people for the service He has called us to in preparation for His return that follows on the evangelization of the world…

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. ~Mt 24:14

Which is in God’s time, not ours, but as His servants are prepared so too will His church be, which will then bring her into that Spiritual Desert as well.  For all of us are called to “Pick up our cross and follow Him”, and as I, and many others who adhere to the teachings of the Church Christ established on the Cross, have shouted from the roof-tops…

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believersThe persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. ~CCC§675

Be ready… be prepared… allow Him to take you through your Spiritual Desert so that you may be the instrument of LOVE that God requires to complete His plan for His children’s salvation, the peace which only God can give, and the reign of His Son in the hearts of all men!

God Bless you ENORMOUSLY during your journey!  My prayers are certainly with each and every one of you. 🙂

The below presentation is a BEAUTIFUL confirmation of what this post says. Please take a moment to watch and take to heart it’s continued message of doing all things in the LOVE of Christ FOR the LOVE of Christ.

The Power of the Cross from Mark Mallett on Vimeo.

Recommended Reading:


The Coming Passion

The Seven Seals of Revelation

Like a Thief

Paralyzed by Fear

Entering the Prodigal Hour


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Unhappy Saints are Lost From the Beginning…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 14, 2017

Do not make My Father’s House a den of thieves!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

“Two years before, Jesus had shaken  up the whole city [of Jerusalem] at the beginning of His public ministry, when He drove out the money changers from the Temple…with that dramatic opening to His work, echoing the words of Jeremiah, everyone was wondering what this Prophet from Nazareth would do now that He was back in Jerusalem.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, 4th Sunday of Lent.

It’s just too bad that those in Jesus’ time, much like our present time, were looking only for the DIRECT results.  It would be those results that might measure the success of Him who was preaching.  Why?  Because they could not see with the Eyes of God, their human eyes and pride kept them, as they do us, closed to how God works. Today’s reading is a good example of this.  In fact, if we read it through the eyes of the WORLD we might see it as total failure.

Ever notice how the WORLD tells us that in order to be successful, your actions MUST produce the desired results soon after they are enacted.  Now, “try this one on for size”,

“Sometimes those who labor for God have to face complete failure, and there is often a mystery of Divine Providence at work.  Jesus was an apparent failure and from a human point of view, on the afternoon of Good Friday, it was all over and that was certainly what even His Apostles thought.” ~Fr. Clifford Stevens, Lenten Homilies, Tuesday of Week 4.

What?!  A “complete failure” ?  Stay with me here, and just listen with the ears of the World to today’s Gospel: John 5: 1-16 (excerpts, emphasis added)


Now…a pool, in Hebrew called Bethzatha…[where] lay a multitude of invalids…One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him…He said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”  The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled…”  Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.”  And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walkedNow that day was the sabbath. 

So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet.”  But he answered them, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘ Take up your pallet and walk.’ “…Now the man who had been healed did not know who [had healed him], for Jesus had withdrawn… Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you are well!  Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you.”

The man went away and told everybody that it was Jesus who had healed him. 

The result?

More people sought out Jesus?

Yes, but the Jewish leaders weren’t pleased and they began an active persecution of Jesus because He healed on the sabbath.

Let’s review the underlined passages and see where things didn’t turnout the way the WORLD, and maybe even us as well, think they should have.

First, Jesus greets a man sick for 30 years.  The man does not recognize Jesus.  Now, how is that possible?

The Passover…was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple He found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business.  And making a whip of cords, He drove them all…out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables…”Take these things way; you shall not make My Father’s House a house of trade!”… The Jews then said to Him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?”  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” ~cf Jn 2: 13-16

Strong words and strong actions…caught the attention of the Jewish authorities of the Temple… definitely caught the attention of those who were selling and of those who were buying.  I think it might even be safe to suggest that it caught the attention of those outside the Temple gates who suddenly saw a large crowd of people AND live-stalk streaming out onto the street!  Wouldn’t you?

The whole city was stirred up by this…We don’t know the exact context in which these words were spoken, but they could have harked back to the words of Jeremiah as well, when he stood at the door of the Temple and shouted: “Don’t just say: This is the Temple of the Lord!  This is the Temple of the Lord!  THIS IS THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD!  Amend your ways, then you will be truly worthy of this place where the Lord dwells.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, 3rd Sunday of Lent.


With the words of Jeremiah coming from this Prophet from Galilee, and the whole city of Jerusalem a buzz about what had happened, surely this man would have heard something?  Even a blind man in Jericho (cf Mk 10: 46-52),  had cried out to Jesus, proclaiming Him to be the Son of David – a Messianic proclamation – at that was at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry before just before He visited Jerusalem for that fateful event.

By the WORLD’S standard: You preached and people called out to you, but this man did not know who you were.  You have not succeeded in making yourself known!  People are bound to reject one such as you.

After Jesus heals the man, does he give thanks to God or proclaim Jesus as the Son of God or even as a prophet or Holy man?  NO.  Instead, he picks up his pallet and goes on his way.

out of 10, only one came back…

On the way to Jerusalem [Jesus] was passing along between Samaria and Galilee…He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance…and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

When [Jesus] saw them He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”  And as they went they were cleansed.  Then, one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks! ~ cf Luke 17: 11-16, emphasis added

By the WORLD’S standard: This man who had been sick for 30 years should have recognized You, so have given thanks to God for the healing he received from You.  Because he failed to do so, You have failed Your God! (Any of you ever get this from the WORLD?  How about from friends and family?)

When Jesus approached the man later in the Temple, and told him to sin no more, did the man rejoice in the miracle he was given?  Did he request to follow after Jesus like so many others who had been healed pleaded to do?  No, instead he went directly to those who had reprimanded him for carrying his pallet, aka Pharisees and told them who had healed him. 

Do you want to be healed?

Did the Pharisees give thanks to God for such a miracle to be present in their sight and the Temple of the Lord?  No, instead they persecuted Jesus further because He had done this miracle on the Sabbath.

By the WORLD’S standard: You came to preach the Good News and transform men’s  hearts.  These men were NOT transformed AND they berated You and sought to kill You.  What success have You in bringing about the transforming of hearts and the preaching of the Good News?  We say, NONE!

You see, “By the World’s Standard”, Jesus ministry was a complete failure.  His actions did not produce immediate results, so He must have been a failure. HOWEVER, it is the World’s eyesight that HAS FAILED because it cannot see with the Eyes of God.

“[The] secret of Who He really is, is hidden from their minds until the glorious morning of the Resurrection, when they [the Apostles and Disciples] realized that they had been walking and talking with the Creator of the Universe, the Jahwe Ineffabilis, the Immortal King of the Ages, and they would carry that earth-shaking realization with them to the end of their lives.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Thursday, First Week of Lent.



THIS is the SUCCESS OF GOD!  The SALVATION of His People, Jews and Gentiles alike!


So when the WORLD tells you that YOU are not changing fast enough… That the Light of God is not quite visible in YOU… Your progress is TOO SLOW… SMILE AND SAY, get behind me satan, for the LOVE OF GOD reigns here, go in His PEACE!


Week 4, Day 28 of 40 days of Lent:

It’s the FOURTH (4th) item on your list.  The FIRST (1st) had you concentrate on Obedience, the SECOND (2nd) on Humility, and the THIRD (3rd) on Wisdom.  The FOURTH (4th) will concentrate of the LOVE OF GOD.  When that FOURTH (4th) thing presents itself to you, and you have cried out,

God Bless Me and Make Me Holy!”

…but the thing persists, REMEMBER, GOD IS LOVE (1 Jn 4:8b).  Yet that thing persists, so you cry out again,

I can do NOTHING without YOU!”

Remember, “In this is LOVE, not that we loved God BUT that HE LOVED US and SENT HIS SON to be EXPIATION FOR OUR SINS (cf. 1 Jn 4:10)…cry out all the more!

Yet it persists even harder because we are nearing the end of Lent, and it is a TRUE time of TESTING… So you cry out again,

Lord, not my will, BUT YOURS BE DONE!  YOU ARE LOVE.”

“Trying to maintain one’s peace of soul is never so demanding as during times of distress and dejection.  It is not a question of battling enemies from the outside but against the shadows within the depths of one’s own heart.” ~Archbishop Jean Honore of  Tours, France.


Speak with WORDs of LOVE: My most Loving Father, who will always run to greet your wayward child (cf. Lk 15:20), reside in my frail heart.  Let YOUR LOVE take up all the room so that the enemy cannot sow seeds of hate, resentment, self-loathing, discouragement, or despair.  It is YOUR HEART I desire in mine, TRANSFORM ME.  BLESS ME.  Make me Holy.  With YOU all things are POSSIBLE.  Create in ME a PURE HEART, one that desires ONLY YOUR WILL be done.  ONE THAT LOVES YOU fully and completely, all of my days, because YOU ARE LOVE.  In the Savior’s Loving Name, Jesus Christ, I pray.  Amen!

Recommend Reading: The Great Gift

Amazing Love! How can it be, that my King would die for me?

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