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Introduction from a newbie.
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Author:  Mother Brigid Anastasia [ Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Introduction from a newbie.

Thank you for your welcome and making this forum available.

I was born in 1946, an only child to a single mother, in Chicago Illinois. She was agnostic but sometimes we visited the Greek Orthodox Church, where I remember feeling something special as a small child. I began questioning the existence of God as a teen, and after speaking with pastors in Chicago, I decided that there was no God and became an atheist. At 21, I set out on a career of nature photography, living in New York and San Francisco where I worked in advertising and publishing.

During this time I was drawn to the supernatural, and searching for a deeper meaning to life, I began my inquiries by studying the occult, Eastern spirituality, and Native American medicine ways. I became a trance medium, astrologer, Tarot Card & I Ching reader, and practitioner of many disciplines. I married a man with like interests.

After twelve years of rabbit trails and blind canyons in this dark spirituality, on the feast day of St. Pio’s name sake, I had a most incredible experience with the Holy Spirit and my life was transformed overnight.

I began looking for others who knew this incredible God, and began my search in a “non-denominational” Spirit filled church. By choice I had preferred a very primitive life style, so I did everything I could to adapt and be a good “Christian.” During these first years I learned a great deal. Somethings very good, other things like misinformation, and prejudice against Catholics and Orthodox, not so good.

After seven years of this, I really didn’t know who I was anymore. I saw the example of Jesus, and comparing it to the showmanship styled ministries of healing and miracles, something wasn’t right. I saw more and more of my own pride, vanity and superficiality and was at a loss on how to change it. I was not getting the teaching or examples I needed, and the lifestyle was smothering me in my tendency towards avarice. The grace given to me at my conversion was to live first century Christianity, and this was not it.

Then I was introduced to St. Francis - and again my life changed overnight. We were living in a three story Victorian town house in Annapolis, decorated in style, and through combined circumstances, almost overnight moved into a tar paper shack on the side of a Pocono mountain. I was blissfully happy praying and studying about the life of St. Francis, directly from the Omnibus of Sources, with guidance from a Friar Guardian who took me under his wing. And had a great deal more quality time with my four children. I soon began to realize that the Church of the first century was Catholic and Orthodox, and had seven sacraments, traditions of the church fathers, and the communion of saints, especially the Holy Mother of God. I understood that through the living of this authentic faith St. Francis had been raised to the heights of holiness. I knew, without question, this is what I had been missing.

The Blessed Mother was most gracious in helping me overcome my legitimate fears about familiar spirits which I had been delivered from. I quickly began to see that the Eucharist and the intercession and guidance of the Mother of God were my keys to overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil.

I was horrified at all the lies I had believed and repeated in ignorance, and spent much of my first few years as a gray habited isolated tertiary Franciscan, repenting and defending the faith. The father of my children left, as he was not in agreement with the Faith, and really was looking for a different life.

During this time I sought out monks, pastors, priests and teachers in the Church. There were many good and skillful people who didn’t really connect with where I believed the Lord was calling me, and after a very long time I was given divine grace and assistance to be able to discern the Lord’s promptings more accurately, in spite of the absence of a good director.

St. Faustina’s writings were a major source of consolation and encouragement as well as the Desert Fathers, St. Francis, The Imitation of Christ and the Imitation of Mary. I love the Catholic tradition dearly, but had always been drawn to the early church fathers and found my peace in Western Rite Orthodoxy, still fully in agreement with Catholicism. I could not agree with schismatic and divisive arguments or bitter enmities, on either side and am both comforted and edified by Pope John Paul II’s, continual practice of humility in drawing a divided church together.

Of course this seems to some as a contradiction, putting us at odds with Orthodoxy, but in light of our Pope’s pioneering efforts to breathe with both lungs, it makes perfect sense. I have since married in the Church, my husband was called to the priesthood, and many years later appointed a bishop. I was also ordained a deaconess, a tradition in Orthodoxy that has nothing to do with challenging the priesthood or role of men, rather it is a serving and supporting role. We have found rest in the Lord and where He has planted us, for His own purposes. With God’s grace we do our best to help those sent to us, who are still searching for the very unique purpose of their lives and the very unique part they have to play in the unfolding of God’s plan for the world.

We support the local Catholic parish, and are finding more and more Orthodox and Catholic souls who are called to be living signs of unity and hope, drawing from the best of both traditions, but remaining faithful to the Church they are in. We have many non Catholic pastors who are friends and support our ministry, a food pantry and house of prayer, decidedly Orthodox and Catholic. And a very poor and primitive wilderness mountain hermitage and chapel set aside for extended periods of fasting and prayer.

Currently we are putting together a web site, Our Lady, Light of the Woods, that will offer random readings from the Scriptures and writings of the Saints to assist searching souls in discernment. We have also been given the necessary resources to produce contemplative music and our first project, The Divine Mercy Chaplet, Meditations in Mercy, is almost completed. It includes a tribute to the holy death of John Paul the Great and St. Faustina. It will be a free download on our web site along with original art of the Divine Heart of God and Our Mother of Mercy.

We feel very privileged to be a part of the community of believers at this time in history and are looking forwarding to giving and receiving with great joy, the gifts entrusted to each of us. Please remember us in your prayers. Thank you.

To all the monks who came to him,
St. Antony had this advice,
“Trust in the Lord
love Him...”

Author:  1HCaAC [ Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Welcome to DCF.

Author:  Mother Brigid Anastasia [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you.

Author:  Mother Brigid Anastasia [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you.

Author:  Lolly [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:16 am ]
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Hi Mother Anastasia. My goodness, you have a wealth of experiences. Welcome aboard!

God bless,
Lolly :)

Author:  Jackie [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:43 am ]
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Hi Mother Anastasia! Welcome to the board.

Author:  Doom [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi There! :wave

Author:  Mother Brigid Anastasia [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:55 pm ]
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Hi Lolly,

Thank you for posting that beautiful quote. It reminded me of something I heard from Raymond Aroyo on EWTN during the conclave. This is what I remember from it, it is not exact.

Someone had interviewed the woman who cleaned Cardinal Ratzinger's quarters. They asked her about him and she replied,

"He is a true Christian."

I can't think of anyone that should no better the true character of a man. I'm looking forward to getting to know you.

Author:  faithfulservant [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:07 pm ]
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welcome MA, to our slice of cyberspace... and thanks so much for sharing your story... enjoy your time on the board and good fortune with your apostolate

Author:  Crusader X [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:19 pm ]
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Welcome aboard!

Author:  Mother Brigid Anastasia [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Our Lady

Thank you faithfulservant,

May we all be called by this name on that day.

I have copied your quote on my computer, I would like to use it on my web site, is that OK?

I wanted to share this with you. It came from an annonomous writer in Florida.

Our Lady appeared in heavenly splendor.
In her heart was a low doorway from which light rays were eminating. Then the Lord appeared from within and stooped to walk out into our presence.

He said, “If I, the Lord of Glory, stooped down from the throne of Heaven to enter the Virgin’s womb, to come to you, how much more should you humble yourselves, stoop down and enter her protective mantle where you will receive instruction in holiness and intercession for your needs as well as protection from Satan who prowls the earth seeking the ruin of souls.”

Also attached is an image of Our Mother of Mercy

Author:  Mother Brigid Anastasia [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you Brian,

"To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; To seek Him, the greatest adventure;
To find Him, the greatest human achievement." ---St. Augustine

What more is there to say?

Author:  BK [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:40 pm ]
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Welcome to DCF MA.

Author:  Theodora [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:19 pm ]
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Welcome :)

Author:  Mother Brigid Anastasia [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:31 pm ]
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Thank you.

Author:  King's Daughter [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:56 pm ]
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:wave God bless you and welcome to the site! What an interesting testimony you have. Thanks for sharing! :D

Author:  BobCatholic [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:34 pm ]
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Welcome! :)

Author:  Mary from LI [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:06 pm ]
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Welcome :D

Author:  Mother Brigid Anastasia [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:48 pm ]
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Thanks everybody!

Author:  faithfulservant [ Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:24 am ]
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yes, MA, you may certainly use my sig line if you wish

doubt that you saw it, but the readings for the day on my birthday (8/27) included the Gospel of the parable of the talents, which i considered a wonderful b'day present from the Church and our Lord

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