Hi! I'm Mary Fernandez. I'm a wife and homeschooling mom of 5, and this is my blog about growing in the spiritual life.
I was raised Protestant until the age of 11 when my family converted to the Catholic faith. I still remember preparing for my First Communion and Confirmation at the small Maronite mission where we were attending Mass... we were using the Baltimore Catechism, and it was unlike anything I had ever read before! These teachings went far deeper than any "Sunday school" class I'd ever attended, and as I percieved their beauty, I knew that the Catholic Church IS the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.
A second conversion–or "illumination of conscience," if you will–happened more recently. Somehow, I had fallen out of the habit of praying every day, and I had become spiritually slothful. Sure, I still thought of myself as a devout Catholic. But if I wasn't spending much time with Him except on Sundays, how could I say that I really loved God?
By the hand of Providence, I came across a video on YouTube from an exorcist priest about why you should stay away from Harry Potter. I always thought there was something sinister about those books, so I had never read them beyond a cursory glance. But this priest shed new light on the reason why I had this intuition, and I was curious to learn more from him. Pretty soon, I was binge watching Father Chad Ripperger conferences on the Sensus Fidelium channel back to back, taking note of everything he said to do (this advise always comes straight from the saints, paricularly Thomas Aquinas– Fr. Ripperger is also a Thomistic philosopher) and trying my best to implement them in my life.
What really hit me hard were his series of talks about "Our Times", where he describes Our Lady's warnings in various Church approved apparitions that a great chastisement from God is coming, and what we can do to prepare. The reality hit me in that moment, and the scales were lifted from my eyes: I had been so focused on material things, I had given little care to my soul! Shaken with fear, I resolved to work harder on my spiritual life. Now, I am no longer afraid, but that initial fear was the catalyst I needed.
The saint I turned to shortly thereafter was St. Joseph, and I'm so happy I did! I found an old St. Joseph novena by Fr. Lallemant (1587-1633), which doesn't prescribe any particular prayers, except that you are supposed to "visit" with St. Joseph four times each day. I felt like I needed to learn more about him in order to do this effectively, so I started looking online and discovered the writings of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), an Augustinian nun, stigmatic, mystic, visionary and ecstatic. Wow, what I learned about St. Joseph's life blew me away! Never before had I even remotely comprehended his humility and purity. After this first novena, a friend suggested that I do a second novena to place myself under the protection of his holy cloak– I highly recommend this novena!
St. Joseph must have been directing me to his most holy spouse, because soon I also came across Venerable Mary of Agreda (1602-1665), another visionary, who received revelations from the Blessed Virgin herself. Her book, The Mystical City of God, gave me a whole new understanding of what it means to be humble.
The Virgin Mary is simultaneously the greatest creature and the most humble of all creation! If Mary was so humble, how much more so ought I to be, who am infinitely lower? Ultimately, I will never be able to imitate her perfectly, but I know that I need to at least try my best.
I'm launching Humble Housewives today because I feel a strong push to encourage other moms in prayer and the imitation of Mary. If you're anything like me, you may be feeling tired and overwhelmed by the thought of adding "one more thing" to your daily schedule. But what I've discovered is that Mary's life holds the solution to every difficulty. We have only to imitate her in order to become truly happy and fulfilled in life... that is, the women God created us to be.
Contrary to what society tells us about so-called "equality" for women, Mary knew the true value of staying at home to cook and clean and take care of your family. Mary wholeheartedly embraced poverty and suffering. Mary is THE Humble Housewife.
Now, I'm no expert on the spiritual life by any stretch of the imagination, so I'll only be sharing the advise of the saints, with a few anecdotes here and there from my own personal experience. Obviously, it's recommended to get a spiritual director if you can (if you can't find one, you can ask St. Joseph to be your spiritual director).
What I really want to do is to show other moms that if someone like me can learn to pray and strive to imitate Our Lady, then they can too!
If you find this website helpful, please say a Hail Mary for me and share this with someone you know. Thank you and God bless you!
✠ This website is consecrated to the Holy Family, Venerable Mary of Agreda, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, and St. Michael the Archangel on this feast of the Apparition of St. Michael, May 8th, 2020.
Visions of the Blessed Virgin's Life, Delivered to Your Inbox
Would you like me to send you a daily vision for meditation, including the Queen of Heaven's exact instructions on how to imitate her virtues (as given to Ven. Mary of Agreda)?