When the thought came to me to do a blog, I was still in catechesis to be brought into full communion with the Catholic Church. I remember it was Lent, and my husband and I were beginning to pray the Rosary as a devotion we hoped to add to our daily lives. I was astounded by how the Rosary could be so simple and yet have so much depth–how one could pray this prayer over and over for the rest of her life and always find herself coming closer to Christ through Mary. As I continued praying the Rosary, the title for the blog, “After This Our Exile,” came to me, for this prayer has been written on my heart ever since I began praying it, continually asking our Mother, “after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
Getting this blog started has been quite slow going. I could say time has stopped me, but mostly it was doubt. I feared pride was my motivation to start a blog, but I also feared I would not offer anything new, as there is already so much in the way of Catholic resources and media, not to mention the saints before me who have said anything I could possibly say and more, and much more eloquently. The reality is, no matter what I say, I will not be saying anything new. I hope anything I say is only an echo of what those saints greater than I have already said.
Amidst my doubt and waiting, however, many ideas continued to form, and my hope for a blog never faded. As a former Protestant, I know what Protestants think of Catholics and their Catholicism, and there are countless misconceptions of the Catholic faith, both by Protestants and Catholics alike. Knowing the misunderstandings that separate Protestants from their Catholic brothers and sisters breaks my heart. Christ prayed that we would be one, and my heart fervently desires that we would indeed be one. I sincerely hope we might seek understanding with one another, ebbing the tension that exists between us, eventually seeking Christ together as one in the Church.
My desire to write of the Catholic faith for the understanding of all people with the specific name, “After This Our Exile,” finally came full circle when my husband and I made the decision to consecrate ourselves to Mary through the Militia of the Immaculata (MI). Started by St. Maximilian Kolbe, the MI is evangelistic, as St. Maximilian used the media available to him–radio and the written word–to bring all people to Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So the MI is for the sanctification of its members, but it especially has the intention that its members would use the means they have to draw all people to Christ through Mary. I came to the MI initially without the knowledge that its mission is so evangelistic. Having wondered and prayed about whether I should write of the Catholic faith, I am now convicted that I must write of the faith that has been handed down to me from Christ Himself. Too many are ignorant of the truth, the goodness, and the beauty Jesus offers us through His Church. I pray, if only to a few people, the Holy Spirit might use my writing to reveal the beauty that lies in the Church and in the writings and stories of Her saints, so more people might see Christ is truly present here. I hope that others will behold Christ and find their calling to be the same as mine–to behold Christ and to call others to behold Christ with them, that we might behold Christ together.