FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING

Today, like any day, I wake up sleepy and empty. I go to my shelf and take down my vina. These are adulterated words of the Sufi poet, Rumi. Today, I wake up inspired. Last night, I received my newsletter from Ireland, The Way of The Immaculate Heart sent from Doon, Co. Limerick, Ireland, from the Irish sisters who have been visionaries since their childhood. I met one of them on one of my many pilgrimages to Medjugorje while standing outside St. James parish, near Columbo’s. The visionary and her husband invited me to tea. We discussed her recent miscarriage and I comforted her, relating my miscarriage of David Irving in January, 1965.

So, after a couple of weeks spending three hours daily listening and watching the latest news on infowars.com, the welcomed newsletter came just in time. I always read it cover to cover the moment it arrives from Ireland. After two or three weeks of such heartbreaking news coming out of D.C., Rome, California, Hong Kong, New York, and elsewhere, I was relieved to sit down and devour my blessed newsletter from my humble “sisters” in Ireland.

Yes, the underground news has been deplorable! There was good news too, as when Alexander Tschugguel of Vienna threw the pagan idol into the Tiber River in Rome, or the meeting of a holy and anointed Jesuit priest working on his ph.d in theology in Berkeley. But, much of these past two weeks have been clouded over with the real news that became available via Banned Videos and infowars.com.

Who could stand by without anger and/or tears when they learn of the kangeroo court in D.C. in a trial of Roger Stone that is a total sham. The agenda is to get Stone first; then impeach the president; then put in a globalist supported replacement for President Trump. All the while Julian of Wikki Leaks has been so terribly mistreated that he was unable to voice his name!!!! Then, we learned that a statue of the idol of child sacrifice, Moleck, was placed in front of the Coloseum in Rome, after drag queens were conducting story hour for children in the U.S.A.

According to Jesse Romero’s recent book, “The Devil in the City of Angels – My Encounters with the Diabolical”, one out of three Catholic theologians do not believe in the existence of Satan. Two out of three believe in his existence but not in his practical actions and refuse to take it into account in pastoral activity. These statistics were gathered in West Germany in 1974 and were published in the Concilium. A recent study reveals that Catholics are among the least likely to agree that Satan is a living being, as published by the Center for Research on the Apostolate, CARA, at Georgetown University.

So, thank God for the holy and faithful priests I am in friendship with, along with my chosen prayer partners and sisters-in-the-faith. Thanks be to God. I remember being in Lourdes years ago. After going into the miraculous baths, we all sat around the hotel dining room eating dinner. I could clearly see those people eating dinner who had NOT gone into the baths that day. So, too, I can learn from the comments on Facebook those who have limited their discernment of the political situation in the USA to their watching of CNN, and the other mainstream media, that is perpetuating the lies about our president and global warming.

So, let us see what the humble Irish visionaries have been told by Jesus, His Mother, full of grace, and St. Patrick. Before the good news, however, I will give you a touch of the bad news coming out of Ireland. Besides passing a bill to make abortion legal, this Holloween Failte Ireland in partnership with Meath and Louth County Councils spent 800,000 Eros promoting a Puca Festival, based on the ancient pagan Celtic festival celebrated on October 31st. The ancient Druids built huge bonfires, where crops, animals, as well as human sacrifices were offered to the Celtic deities, i.e. evil forces.

Back to the good news: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen”- 1 Timothy 1:17. “For the Solemn Feast of My Kingship will you as one make a Novena to this Heart offering it atonement and love, appeasing Its pain for all the love which has been poured out on mankind and yet has had so little love in return?” Jesus said this to the Irish visionary on October 15, 2019. In preparation for the solemn Feast of Christ the King, Jesus has asked us to pray the following as a novena from November 16 to the 24th: A Prayer of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; the Chaplet of Love and Mercy as given by Jesus to the visionary; an Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as recommended by Our Lady. We have also been asked to pray for the Church, (as we were told to begin in August before the Amazon Synod),including the praying of The Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel daily.

Regarding the Feast of Christ the King, Jesus said the following to the visionary on October 15, 2019:
“For the Solemn Feast of My Kingship will you as one make a Novena to this Heart….Then, child, I will look on you in love and I will know that you love Me and because of this great love I will shower you with grace and blessings especially on you, your homes, your families, your country. Do this for Me and you will see how I will move and act swiftly!”

Our Lady said this to the visionary on September 14, 2019: “Children, now is the time for prayer. Unite with Me then in this Cenacle and grace will be poured out among many that hearts may be open. Unite with Me, children, keep your focus on My Son Jesus. Let nothing disturb you. God is in control…………………”

God bless you, and may His peace we with you and with your family and your country. Pray, pray, pray. Do not be afraid. Hold on tight to Our Lord and Our Lady.

Love always,
Susanna Maria

Search for Truth

The theme for my blog website is “The Search for Truth”. It is my humble opinion that one has to go beyond main-stream media in order to receive a glimmering of the truth regarding politics these days. The world, as we knew it, has been turned upside down. The modern day free speech movement was birthed down the street on the campus of U.C. Berkeley. Now, in more recent times, that same campus was attacked by thugs breaking windows with clubs when a conservative was scheduled to speak on campus. Where is the truth in all of this? Popular television outlets are spouting daily the exact same talking points. They obviously are being orchestrated by anti-Trump organizations who are backed by the globalist, one-world government agenda squad who is threatened by our duly elected president who is working very hard to save this republic from a globalist agenda. Like yours truly and many others, President Trump loves this country, for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.

This country was founded under Jewish and Christian principals. The current agenda threatening our country is anti-Christian, anti-nation-states, anti-family, anti-life from conception to natural birth, anti-free speech,for open borders, indoctrination of students from K-grad-school, promoting propaganda, not teaching real American history, political correctness, censored speech, etc., etc.

If you are one of the many citizens who have always watched NBC, CBS.CNN, etc., you are fed on a daily diet of propaganda in harmony with the globalist agenda.
Unless you are a critical thinker and a person with common sense, after daily indoctrination, you will begin to believe the lies if you hear them repeated often enough.

May I humbly suggest that you take a look at a website called INFOWARS.COM on a regular bases, in order to compare the information you receive on NBC, CBS, CNN, etc. with what you hear on infowars.com.

Get on your knees and ask the Lord to guide you. And, while you are at it, check out holylove.org for messages from heaven.

Jesus, I trust in You. God bless America

With Mary We Trust in God’s Mercy

Thank God, the black-out affecting much of Northern California overseen by Pacific Gas and Electric did not effect Brentwood, California, so we traveled to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Friday, October 11, 2019, to attend the second annual Marian Conference. The event was hosted by Fr. Quang Minh Dong, the pastor, Fr. Arturo Bazan and Fr. John Erick Villa, both parochial vicars, Deacon Ron Horan, Deacon John Erick Villa, the Missionary Sisters, and multiple hard working volunteers from this wonderful parish. Upon arrival, we are always stunned with the beauty of the mission style church, campus, and gardens. While working at Glad Tidings in Pleasanton, California, I had the good fortune of seeing Fr. Garcia every week as he came to our Catholic book shop to visit his friend, my boss. It was Fr. Garcia who was the pastor of the old downtown church that held only about 200 people. It, like the new church, was of the California Mission style. Ground-breaking began for the new church in June, 2002 and completed in 2004. It is the most beautiful church in California.

The Marian Conference began with the scriptural rosary led by Deacon John Kortuem in the beautiful sanctuary, followed by the opening mass and keynote address by Father George Mockel, the Vicar-General of the Diocese of Oakland. Father George’s talk was very sincere and meaningful. He dared to address the disappointment he felt regarding the Church scandal. He suggested that we look to St. Francis of Assisi as one who came to the aid of the Church when it was in trouble on the past. [God raises up saints during troubles in the Church, such as St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. Then too, He has raised up an English convert and saint for our time, (a time of trouble in the Church), in the Canonization of St. John Henry Newman which would take place the day after the conference, on Sunday, October 13, 2019, the anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. The conference coincided with the Amazon Synod taking place in the Vatican.]

Father George Mockel referred to Matthew Kelly’s book “Rediscovered Saints” along with Bishop Robert Barron’s “Hearts on Fire”. He then quoted the last words recorded in the Gospel, “Do whatever He tells you,” Our Lady’s words to the waiters at he wedding feast in Cana. This becomes her last testimony to the Church! St. Francis was told by Jesus Christ, “Repair my Church.”

St. Thomas Moore, portrayed in the drama, “A Man for All Seasons”, did not agree with the divorce of King Henry VIII, from his wife, Anne Bolen. St. Thomas Moore’s conscience told him that it was wrong. He is then executed. Father George considers Bishop Barron the second greatest evangelist next to St. John Paul II and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. To “do whatever He tells you” is the bottom line! The Church is a mother and a teacher, according to St. Pope John XXIII. It is Christ’s Church!!!

A short video was presented of Bishop Michael, who could not attend the conference as he was in Rome for the Canonization of Mother Mary Theresia of Karala, India, Margaret Bays of Switzerland, John Henry Cardinal Newman of England, Sr. Josephine Vannini of Rome, Italy, and Sr. Dulce Lopez of Brazil.
[I watched the Canonization mass said by Pope Francis on EWTN when I returned home along with the Thanksgiving Mass of St. John Henry on October 14, 2019 held at Basilica of John Lateran. St. John Henry Cardinal Newman lived from 1801-1890. He was a noted theologian, writer, minister, and Don at Oxford, first in the Church of England, and after his conversion, he became a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church at age of seventy-eight. He wrote 22,000 letters, many books, and was famous for the founding of the Oratory,”There IS an objective truth”, and “Heart speaks to Heart.”]

After Fr. George’s key-note address, Fr. Quang Dong, the Pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary, gave a formal welcome and reminded us of last year’s conference theme: “With Mary, We Say Yes to the Lord”.

Due to airline delays, Joan and Dave Maroney were unable to give their 6:30 p.m. Friday night scheduled talk. Fr. Gladstone Stevens, PSS, graciously and very capably pinch-hit for the Maroney couple flying in late from Texas. Fr. Gladstone is a convert from the Episcopal church; he is now a Roman Catholic priest and a brilliant ad-lib speaker! [It was so appropriate that the night before Blessed John Henry Newman, also a convert, became a saint, that our second speaker was also a convert from the Episcopal Church! Times have changed since the days of the persecution of the Catholics in England! Note that Prince Charles, heir to the thrown, attended the Canonization mass of John Henry Newman yesterday at the Vatican!]

Fr. Gladstone is a member of the Society of Saint Sulpice and teaches Systematic Theology at Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. Here are some of the ideas he shared with us: 1) We are created by words. We are the some-total of all the words we have taken in. We hear 30,000 words each day. Everything was created into being by speech. 2) Obedience: hear reverently the Word of God. 3) Salvation begins by hearing! 3) “Let there be Light!” were God’s first words. 4) The Second Eve is the oldest name of Mary according to Cardinal John Henry Newman. The Tree of Life was also in the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Good and Evil was the other tree not to be touched. The First Eve listened to Satan. The Second Eve listened to an angel.

Following dinner, there were confessions being heard, a Eucharistic Procession, and Overnight Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Saturday morning began with an International Rosary and Benediction, followed by Mass and the Anointing of the Sick by Bishop Jaime Soto.

Fr. Gladstone Stevens, PSS, gave his second talk at 9:30 a.m. He spoke about the Real Presence in the Eucharist, saying that unfortunately, many Catholics do not believe this!!! He said that we are suffering from a famine of the Word of God. What must we eat? We must eat the Body and the Blood of Christ! Adam and Eve fell by eating incorrectly. We eat in order to live.

Fr. Gladstone recommended the reading of St. John Paul II’s book on The Eucharist, especially the chapter on the Blessed Mother. Early on in the speech Fr. Gladstone said that if a priest does not have a close relationship with The Blessed Mother, he, too, may not have strong faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Fr. Gladstone then recommended a book by Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus that states that when Mary was at the foot of the Cross, she was an icon of God the Father! We have to love the Eucharist like Mary loved her Son. Someone had to die!! Your Mother had to lose her child for us to have the Eucharist. St. John Paul II said that a priest is one who allows himself to be consumed at the needs of his people.

After the talk by Fr. Stevens, the Fil-Amm Ministry of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church of Brentwood served FREE delicious coffee made from coffee beans grown on a plantation in the Philippines. What a sweet, welcomed and gracious gesture! Such delicious coffee! This is part of a fund-raising project for IHM.

Although I had heard Joan and Dave speak at the Divine Mercy event at the Cathedral of Light in Oakland, this presentation was even more anointed! Here are some of the highlights: 1) Turn things off and pray! Stay in constant prayer!. 2) What St. Faustina was told to do: pray a Holy Hour (for our country), pray the Litany of the Saints, receive Holy Communion, and pray the novena.

What are the four important aspects of The Divine Mercy? a) The image of The Divine Mercy, b) The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy, (that will appease the angel of wrath due to abortion! c) Prayer, and d)The 3:00 p.m. Holy Hour. The Feast of The Divine Mercy is the Second Baptism! Ask for huge things from God! Fast! No meat on Fridays! Stop and pray at 3:00 p.m.

Our Lady of America appeared to Sister Mary Ephrim in Ohio on September 15, 1956, giving her a message. Our Lady of America appeared again on October 7, 1957, asking us to pray the family rosary. On October 13, 1956, she appeared holding a model of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of Washington D.C. She asked that the Bishop processed with the statue of Our Lady of American and provide a permanent place for her veneration at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (There are chapels along the sides of the shrine with images of the Blessed Mother from many, many nations, but none from the USA. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron of all the Americas, North and South.) Our Lady promised that if her wishes were granted, the National Shrine would be a safe-guard forever for our country. She appeared wearing white, and asked for the reformation of life. She appeared on May 22, 1954 and December 20, 1959. She wants a picture of her image honored in our homes. She asked that a medal be struck. Sister Mary Ephrim’s spiritual director, Monsignor Paul F. Leibold, who later became the archbishop of Cincinnati, Ohio and is now deceased, gave his approval of the messages and the medal. Sr. Mary Ephrim’s visions began when St. Faustina died. in 1938. Cardinal Burke has investigated this apparition and has okayed it. More information is available at http://www.OurLadyofAmerica.org

In 1943, the words, “under God” were not included in the Pledge of Allegiance. These were President Lincoln’s words, i.e. “Under God”. On February 8, 1954, President Eisenhower added the words, “under God”, to the Pledge Allegiance.
“Without faith, there can be no love”, Jesus told Sister Mary Ephrim. In 1954, He said, “Woe to children who neglect to honor their father and mother. Joan asked us to read the messages! How can we bring God into our homes? Have the Lord enthroned in your home. How does one venerate the image of The Divine Mercy? By enthronement. A packet was available after the talk called: “Enthroning The Divine Mercy as King of Home and Family, Informational Guide. It is available at http://www.familydivinemercy.org Fr. Seraphim was consulted about the enthronement and he said the prayers were perfect.

In the 1950’s, the upper church of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. began to be built. Next year, it will be the 100th anniversary of the ground-breaking of the Shrine. The Blessed Mother promises purity to the world if her requests are met. We were asked to pray the Rosary for 72 days, beginning next Saturday, with the intentions that the Bishops will honor Our Lady’s request.

Father Mark Wiesner gave a talk at 2:00 p.m. He is the pastor of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Livermore, California, followed by the Holy Hour at 3:00 p.m. with a very anointed praying of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Thank you, Jesus.

After the dinner break, there was a candlelight rosary procession followed by the closing mass by Father Quang Minh Dong. Besides the wonderful program described above, there was a parallel program of masses and talks in Spanish by Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, Fr.Arturo Bazan, and Bishop Jaime Soto May God in His great mercy bless, guide, protect, and anoint all those who made this wonderful Marian Conference possible. Thank you, Jesus. Our Lady of America, pray for us. We look forward to October 9-10th for the 2020 Marian Conference in Brentwood, California. Jesus, I trust in You.

The Time, it is Now

Yes, the time, it is now. It is now the time to give up the world and follow Jesus. On October 8, 2019, God the Father gave a message to the visionary outside Cleveland, Ohio, recorded on the website, holylove.org that included the following words: “He [Satan], is attempting now to take over the government of this nation,” [USA]. Today, all over Northern California, Pacific Gas and Electric has shut off power with a black-out in multiple counties. In Rome, at the Vatican, the Pope is meeting with Bishops at the Synod of the Amazon. In two days, October 11 and 12, over a thousand Catholics will meet at The Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Brentwood, California to celebrate the apparition of the Blessed Mother in Fatima on October 13th.

Recently, I learned that Ivan, a visionary from Medjugorje, was told that for the 2,000th birthday of The Blessed Virgin Mary, her Son, Jesus Christ, was going to give her a special gift of many conversions. That promise was for her birthday on August 5, 1980, the actual birth date, not in September. So, the gift was instituted by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit throughout the world during the decade of the ’80’s. Jimmy Swaggert, an American evangelist, held huge revival meetings all over the world which were filled with the Holy Spirit. Today, I heard and saw a rebroadcast on SBN television of his meeting with 80,000 people in Santiago, Chile. Here are some of the words he spoke:

The Second Coming [of Jesus Christ], is on the horizon, followed by the rapture, then the huge war for seven years, and then Jesus’s coming. He quoted Rev. 11:18, The nations are angry.” Your hope is the coming of the Lord,” not the USA, not communism. God is angry with hunger, sickness, etc. “I’m coming back!” Satan will be locked away. Each kingdom will become a kingdom of the Lord, without hunger. “Hold on; He’s coming!” The kingdoms of this world will become kingdoms of God.” “A change is coming!” The only thing important is to be right with the Lord.” “He’s coming back!” Peace will prevail! (Isaiah) His home is the planet earth. “My blood was spilled on planet earth and I’m coming back!”

Yes, this is the holiest day, the Great Day of Atonement, Yon Kipper, for the Jews. Let us get on our knees. Let us pray, pray, pray. Our Lady has told Elizabeth Kindelmann of Hungary that Satan will be blinded by her Flame of Love.

God have mercy; Christ have mercy. Lord, I entrust this world, this country of the USA, my family, and all the people of the earth to you. God have mercy. God the Father, hear our prayers.

Blessings,
Susanna Maria Ax
October 9, 2019

Pio da Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap.

In early March, 2008, I traveled by chartered bus from Rome to San Giovanni Rotonda, Italy, in the province of Foggia, in the region of Puglia. In contrast, by train, it is a three hour ride from Rome to Foggia, plus an hour bus ride to San Giovanni Rotonda. When we arrived and I stepped out of the bus, I felt sand at my feet and a breath of fresh air from the Adriatic Sea. Yes, Saint Padre Pio is the Italian saint that refreshes!

The next morning, we got in line to see the body of Padre Pio which was on display for the first time, for the public, since his death almost forty years earlier. 15,000 worshipers gathered to view the exhumed body. Prior to the public admission, the bishops had viewed the body after it had been exhumed. We kneeled at the glass covered coffin and prayed. (His face showed a bit of discoloration, so a mask had been put over his face.)

Later, we sat outside during the special mass held in the newly built vast church, (as “there was no room in the inn”), named The Holy Mother of Grace, Modanna delle Grazie. (The bishops probably viewed the saints body on March 2nd; perhaps we viewed it on the 3rd of March, 2008.)Sitting outside during the mass, we witnessed a huge procession of archbishops, priests, deacons, and dignitaries into the Modanna delle Grazie. During the mass, I was overcome with the Holy Spirit and stood with my arms up and outstretched. Later, I learned that there were television cameras viewing my quickened spirit! Since I had my eyes closed, I was totally unaware of the television cameras. I learned all about this over a plate of spagetti back at our hotel.

March forward to September, 2019, where I was back in California and celebrated the Feast of St. Padre Pio while watching the mass on EWTN and reading one of his letters published in the September, 2019 issue of the Magnificat. After the Feast of St. Pio, I began a little study of this awesome saint. I watched a full length movie on YouTube of his life with Arabic sub-titles, plus a very informative documentary. I got out my three volumes of his letters that I had purchased in the book shop in San Giovannni Rotonda. I put on display the photo of Padre Pio saying mass with his stigmata exposed, a photo the friar gave me after I paid for my books. I began to pray, pray, pray to St. Pio asking him to intercede for me for my healing.

He was born on May 25, 1887 into a devout Catholic family of peasant farmers in a farming town in southern Italy. He died on September 23, 1968, the year of my daughter’s birth. He suffered greatly, not only from the pain of the stigmata, which appeared on his hands, feet, and side for fifty years, but also from persecution from the Vatican. For about ten years, he was forbidden to say a public mass nor to hear confessions. He said, “What am I to do?” During that time, he read volumes of history, volumes of Church history, and volumes of the history of the popes. Of course, he said mass privately, did his spiritual reading, and prayed, prayed, prayed.

He had multiple gifts of the Holy Spirit. He could bi-locate, he could read souls, and he had the gift of healing. Actually, he was used as an instrument of the Divine Healer. Early on, he offered himself on July 27, 1918, during WWI, as a victum for the end of the war. He was very active in WWII at his confessional, where soldiers would come to have him hear their confession. The future Pope, John Paul II, visited him whereby Padre Pio predicted his future. He also bi-located stopping the bombing of San Giovanni Rotonda. If a person forgot one of his major sins, he would remind the penitent about the unconfessed sin!

His masses would sometimes last two to three hours. Once, when he saw an important figure look at his watch during mass, he stopped everything and said that he preferred that you do not look at your watch during mass! He had a great sense of humor and liked to tell jokes. He prayed the rosary non-stop. He was often bothered and attacked by Satan. He visited the children who were patients in the huge hospital he had built with funds donated from all over the world. It is called the Casa Sallievo della Sofferenza, the home for the Relief of the Suffering. It is a very large hospital and research center founded by Padre Pio.

His stigmata first appeared in 1910. Right before his death, the wounds disappeared. He said a public mass the day before he died. He was credited by his fellow friars with more than 1,000 miraculous cures. His correspondence was gigantic. He was canonized on June 16, 2002 and on May 2, 1999, he was beatified.

Here are five rules for spiritual growth that Padre Pio recommended: 1) weekly confession, 2) daily communion, 3) spiritual reading, 4) meditation, and 5) examination of conscience.

Today, I am on page 74 of Volume II of his letters. I am now reading a letter and his response each day. The first volume I purchased in San Giovanni is correspondence with his spiritual directors from 1910-1922, including 1,542 pages. Volume III was written 1915-1923 and is correspondence with his spiritual daughters and totals 585 pages.

Volume II is called Letters from Foggia regarding Padre Pio’s correspondence with Raffaelina Cerase, an Italian noblewoman, composed of 1,203 pages, from 1914-1915. In a letter written to Raffaelina by Padre Pio on December 17, 1914, he outlines a daily program for her:
a)”Arrange two periods to be devoted to meditation;
b) Do not lose sight of the presence of God during any action whatsoever;
c) Do not undertake any task without raising your mind to God to ask His help and to thank Him;
d) Renew your pure intention frequently;
e) Pray before and after dinner;
f) Examine your conscience before going to bed;
g) Offer your night’s rest to the Lord.”

I hope this little missal inspires you to follow his direction and to pray for his intercession. Jesus, I trust in You. St. Padre Pio, pray for us.
Blessings,
Susanna Maria

28th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

Friday, July 5, 2019, was the 28th wedding anniversary of James and Susanna. That was three days ago, and I am still feeling the glow of it! When Jack Naidu told James to kiss the bride, while Jack took a number of photographs, insisting upon a number of repeat performances, I felt I had just gotten married! Yes, I am a very slow learner. At my very first wedding, when I was a twenty-three year old novice from Iowa, as I walked down the aisle, I hardly saw anything, as I refused to wear my glasses! Yes, I was a bit blind in those days, in more ways than one. That was in the Protestant church in the redwoods in Mill Valley, California in 1963. In 1985, I tried it again. This time, it was a Sufi wedding on the beach in San Francisco. I wore nine braids with rose buds in my hair, but that one did not work either.

Then, along came James, the very first person who could keep up with me on the dance floor, where we danced a week after meeting at a mini film festival in an ice cream shop in Lenox, Mass., in the heart of the Berkshires. This time, I kept my glasses on and even asked both of my bosses for character references regarding James! That was in November, 1990. By June 19, 1991, I announced to James that we were going to have a Sufi wedding high above Lake Tahoe on Echo Lake in California. I sang a poem by Rabia, a Sufi saint, and towered over the groom and Pir Vilayat, my Sufi teacher.

A month later, we had an old fashioned Protestant wedding in the little white wooden church on the south shore of Clear Lake, Iowa. A minister from the Reformed Church in Klemme, Iowa, where I had been baptized in 1940, married us. I wore my grandmother’s wedding dress, which she had made, and James wore my shoes, as he had left his back in Kansas. Annalisa sang “Amazing Grace” in her college graduation dress.

Sixteen years later, after my conversion and a forced exit from the Carmelite order due to an impediment, we received the Sacrament of Marriage in the little chapel of St. Luke’s parish in Foster City, California. Deacon Paul Lucia officiated and we all feasted at the Basque Club, south of the city of St. Francis, after the wedding ceremony. Fast forward to this past Friday, July 5, 2019. Fr. Edmund Shipp kindly drove across the bridge to sanctify our wedding anniversary with a spirit-filled mass and house blessing, followed by a little feast prepared by the groom. Fr. Shipp is a heroic figure who always says “Yes!” to God and to his flock when they are in need. For many, many years, he was the spiritual director for Our Lady’s Prayer Group in San Bruno, California, where I played flute and sang alto for nearly twenty years. He also was the priest on our many pilgrimages to Medjugorje, Fatima, Lourdes, Paris, Amsterdam, and Poland.

The holy and joyous event began at 3:00 p.m., the Hour of Mercy, with the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. The altar was set with a treasured table linen from Hong Kong, an inheritance from my favorite mother-in-law. Brass candles were shined, two of which were gifts from Julie Grimm Crow, my childhood friend, in honor of my 1963 shin-ding. My maid-of-honor, Arlene, at our Sacrament of Marriage, was a hard-working guest, along with Nikki, who worked hard setting all things right and singing like an angel at the mass. Special guests were Larry and Donene, who had been a faithful member of the prayer group for years, along with my prayer partner, Pat Naidu, and her famous sports writer husband, Jack, also from Fiji.

After the mass, Fr. Shipp kindly blessed the entire house of four bedrooms and art studio. Before the summer supper was served, a prayer was said that had been written by Fr. Edward Hays, who wrote “The Passionate Troubadour, A Medieval Novel of St. Francis of Assisi”. Wonderful stories were shared during the meal as to how the three couples had met. The groom had prepared coq au vin and mashed potatoes, while the bride prepared the asparagus and green salad. James had procured the various wines, Italian water, French cheese, a rustic loaf of bread, and not one, but THREE Tira Misu Gateau (cakes) for our dessert.

I was totally stoked from the joyous, holy event and too tired to even open the presents the day after. So, today, after mass, I was astounded to find the following most beautiful gifts brought to our home to celebrate our Iowa wedding 28 years ago! On the day of the anniversary, Nikki arrived with a huge, beautiful, white orchid which now sits in the orchid window in our kitchen. Donene and Larry broke the bank, gifting us with a gorgeous light green clear glass clock made by Danbury, inscribed with the date of our 28th wedding anniversary. I have been sitting in this house since 1997 with not one, but FOUR clocks, none of whom work!! What a beautiful addition to our living room! Pat and Jack gave us a very generous gift certificate to La Paradis & La Patisserie, plus a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts they brought back from their recent trip to Hawaii. Arlene gave us a tile from the Azores from her recent trip to Portugal. Both Arlene and the Naidu’s are having masses said for us for a whole year at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Benet Lake, Wisconsin.

I am astounded with the gratitude I am feeling for having such good friends. I am so thankful for my devoted husband, who now takes such good care of me with my current handicap.

May the good Lord shed His face upon Fr. Shipp, Arlene, Nikki, Liza, (who had to work at Stanford at the hospital on the day of our Domestic Church celebration), Larry, Donene, Pat, Jack, and my beloved husband, James. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, my friends. Thank you, Fr. Shipp! Thank you, Blessed Mother, for making this day so special.

Love always, Susanna Maria Carol Ax

43rd ANNIVERSARY

Tomorrow, June 18, 2019, is the 43rd anniversary of my initiation into the Sufi Order of the West. It happened in the redwood forest outside the coastal town of Mendocino, California. I had spent nearly sixteen years seeking God after my arrival in San Francisco in the summer of June, 1960. Although I had been raised as a Protestant at the Zion Reformed Church in Garner, Iowa, I had lost my faith, due to sin. When I arrived in San Francisco at the age of twenty, I sampled all the Protestant churches in the City, including the Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill when I lived just a block from the Cathedral. After trying out all the Protestant churches, I attended the Temple Immanuel on Lake Street, the Jewish temple. Then, I attended the Sri Orobindo Ashram on Fulton Street every Sunday for three years. There, I learned the importance of meditation. Then, I attended zazen and the lecture every Saturday at the San Francisco Zen Center on Page Street every Saturday for a number of years, along with sesshins at Green Gulch, classes of Japanese tea ceremony taught by the widow of Suzuki Roshi, and several retreats at Tassajara. In the meantime, I attended the ceremonies of Kalu Rimposhe and the Karmapa of the Tibetan Buddist religion. I attended retreats in Berkeley at the Tibetan center and received a blessing from the Dali Lama on two occasions.
Finally, after attending a retreat with the Tibetan lama in Berkeley, I told him to let me know the next time they were hosting an art related event. So, one day, he called me on Wolf Back Ridge in Sausalito, California, where I was living at the time. He said that they were organizing an art exhibit of Tibetan tankas at Grace Cathedral and could use my help. My job was to monitor the “gate” as people entered. During the three or four day event, I met a student of Eastern religions. He gave me the phone number of Wali Ali’s wife and said that my daughter might enjoy the summer camp. I carried that phone number in my wallet for two years. Then, one night after a concert of the Sufi choir, I received a ride home from a Sufi. I mentioned the phone number I had been given and was told that there would be a Sufi Camp in Mendocino in June.
I called the number and registered for the camp. I also invited Ann, our former neighbor, to come with us to give my daughter company. Wavy Gravy was the leader of the children’s camp. While sitting in a grassy meadow listening to Pir Vilayat Khan lead the singing of various chants and songs from the religions of the world, I felt like I was back in the days when Christ walked the earth.
In those days, Pir would give darsshan to every 200 to 300 campers, one-by-one.
Later, I learned he had many gifts of the spirit, including bi-location, when he appeared in the garden when I was going through a hard patch on a retreat in San Francisco. Much later, I learned he had the gift of healing, as witnessed by Asha who saw Pir pray over me at a retreat outside Santa Barbara after I returned from India where I had been hospitalized with Gillian-Barre Syndrome. He also had many other gifts, with an amazing ability to inspire and transform his students. He taught us many modes of meditation, developed in me the grace to forgive, led us to states of joy and peace, to name just a few. He foretold us that my daughter would be gifted in one of the arts and that I was to expose her to high quality arts. (That all came true!}
I asked to be initiated on the vigil of Pir’s birthday, June 19, 1976. By July, 1976, a month later, I was on a plane, flying to Paris via Amsterdam in order to attend his Sufi camp at Chamonix, France in the high Alps. Afterwards, I attended his summer school in Suresnes, outside Paris. This became a way of life. Every three months I would hear an inner calling to be with Pir. I would fly to where ever he was teaching, for example, Florida, Tuscon, Arizona, Vermont, New York City, New Lebanon, New York multiple times, Santa Fe, New Mexico, San Francisco, CA, Santa Barbara, CA, San Anselmo, CA, the high desert outside of Los Vegas, Nevada, back to Paris for two more summer schools, back to the Alps for several more Zenith camps, Nevada City, CA twice, another camp in Mendocino, Lake Tahoe, CA, five pilgrimages to India, and Santa Cruz, CA, my last retreat with Pir.
In 1984, at my second Sufi camp in Mendocino, I received a message from the Virgin Mary via a Sufi-Catholic visionary. I began attending daily mass and the rest is history. I entered the Roman Catholic Church on April 11, 1998, the anniversary of my first confirmation in Garner, Iowa, during the Year of the Holy Spirit. Since that time, I have taught in an Islamic School in Silicon Valley, a Catholic school in Hayward, CA, a Hebrew school in Palo Alto, a Montessori school in Terra Linda, CA, and a French school in San Anselmo, CA. I also worked for the Jesuit Community at JSTB in Berkeley, sold Catholic books at Glad Tidings in Pleasanton, CA. I was a member of o.c.d.s. the Order of Carmelites Discalced Secular for the past twenty years, and now am studying the way of the Franciscans.
So, this morning, the vigil of Pir’s birthday, I had a fabulous dream of Pir’s younger son. May God rest the soul of my Sufi teacher, Pir Vilayat Khan. May God greatly bless his younger son whom I haven’t seen since he was a toddler. May God, in His mercy, make His face to shine upon us and give us His peace. Amen