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God Walked Upon the Earth? 'Insane!'
By Felix Carroll (Sep 20, 2011)
Raised in a conservative Jewish home in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rosalind Moss had lived 32 years before she uttered Christ's name, and it was not uttered with conviction.
"Jesus was the Messiah? And the Messiah had come to earth? It was the most insane thing I had ever heard," she says.
A year later she quit a high-paying business career and gave her life to Christ.
A committed evangelical Christian, Rosalind was 46 years old before she ever uttered a positive word about Catholicism.
"I was taught it was a cult, a false religion," she says.
In 1990, in what she describes as a single shocking second, she came to understand that if she didn't look into the Catholic faith to see for herself, she'd be turning away from God.
"I went from wanting to 'save' every single Catholic to wanting to be a Catholic," she says.
On the Easter vigil of 1995, she entered the Church.
All in God's time, right?
Thirteen years later, Rosalind Moss, a celebrated speaker, Catholic radio and television personality, editor and author, became Sister Rosalind Moss. And now, as of Sept. 8, 2011, Sr. Rosalind became "Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God," foundress of a new religious congregation of the Benedictine order called the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope.
Down to earth, no-nonsense, colorful, inspirational, and passionate, Mother Miriam will be a featured speaker at the "Divine Mercy Conference: 2011" on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica in Lackawanna, N.Y. (Learn more about the conference.)
What's Mother Miriam's relationship to the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, administrators of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy and the co-sponsors of conference in Lackawanna?
She was a "one-week-old Catholic" when she first visited the Shrine in Stockbridge, Mass., for the famed Divine Mercy Sunday celebration. Nearly 11 years later, in June 2009, she spent a year of Novitiate at the nearby monastery of the Visitation Sisters in Tyringham, where Marian priests celebrate daily Mass and serve as the sisters' spiritual directors and confessors.
"That's how I came to know and love the Marians," she says.
In addition, she was greatly inspired by the self-guided retreat book Consoling the Heart of Jesus (Marian Press), by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC.
"It's a beautiful, beautiful book," says Mother Miriam, who plans to give the book to all women who enter her community.
Father Michael's book serves as the theme for the conference and the namesake for Mother Miriam's talk, which she has titled, "Console the Heart of Jesus? Me?"
Yes, you. The dedication of her life, heart, and talents to God must certainly console Jesus' Heart.
The Incarnation. The What?
Mother Miriam's radical redirection to Christianity began when a fellow Jew spoke to her about the central belief of Christians — that God became man in the Person of Jesus, the Redeemer, who walked upon the earth. She was 32-years old and had never heard such a thing. It was "insane."
"The reason is," she explains, "we'd sit down to the Passover table every year, and we'd wait for Him. We knew when the Messiah came He would establish His kingdom, bring peace on Earth, bring the Jewish people back to Jerusalem, and all of life would make sense. How could you imagine believing He came? There's no Kingdom, and there's no peace, and we're not in Jerusalem, and He left, and nobody [in her Jewish family] has a clue He was here. The whole thing made no sense whatsoever."
But the notion percolated. A man cannot be God, but God, if He exists, can become Man. Other Jews she knew explained how Jesus was the Lamb of God who fulfilled the Old Testament sacrificial system and took away sin. Suddenly, it all made sense.
"It was as if someone pulled the curtain before me and exposed the truth; and I could see for the first time."
She was an advertising executive in California at the time. She quit. She gave her life to Christ.
"I was overwhelmed by the fact I now knew God and that I'm His and that He is a God of such unbelievable love. I couldn't get over it," she says. "My feet didn't touch the ground for two years."
Feeling called to serve God through serving His children who were most in need, she opened the yellow pages for organizations dedicated to social work. She worked at a halfway house and then an orphanage. She became a jail chaplain. She taught Bible studies.
"The world had to know Christ," she says.
'A Synagogue, with Christ'
She knew nothing about Christian denominations. She only knew she was a follower of Christ.
"I found out later I was evangelical Protestant," she says, with a laugh. "My first Bible study was taught by an ex-Catholic who was taught by an ex-priest who taught me straight off that Catholicism was a cult and a false religion. I believed it, and the next 14 years I tried to save Catholics and get them out of the Church."
Her brother David, in the interim, had become Catholic. One day, he took her to Holy Mass for the first time. She was horrified.
"That was a synagogue, but with Christ!" she exclaimed.
"That's exactly right," he said. "That's what the Catholic Church is!"
He tried to save her, and she tried to save him.
"He won," Mother Miriam says.
In the summer of 1990, God, through a series of tapes by Dr. Scott Hahn, "shot a knife through my anti-Catholic heart and set me on a compelling course to the Catholic Church."
She proceeded to read everything she could about Catholicism. She was a Protestant teacher by day, a student of Catholicism at night.
"I knew I needed to leave everything and everyone and look into the Church, otherwise I'd be teaching against the Church that Christ established," says Mother Miriam. Mentored by a priest in New York, she became Catholic on the Easter Vigil, 1995.
The Communicant, the Communicator
Mother Miriam has since traveled the world to communicate Christ's message. From 1999 to 2008, she was a fulltime staff apologist with Catholic Answers and remains a guest of the semi-monthly radio program, "From the Heart" on Catholic Answers Live. She is the editor of Home at Last, 11 Who found Their Way to the Catholic Church; co-host of EWTN's "Household of Faith" and "Now That We're Catholic!"; host of "Reasons for Our Hope: A Bible Study on the Gospel of Luke"; and author of the Bible study book by the same title.
At the invitation of Archbishop (now Cardinal) Raymond Burke of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Mo., her dream to found a new religious community was realized on Aug. 22, 2008. Then on Sept. 8, 2011, on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Excellency, Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa Okla., formally inaugurated her congregation, Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope. Rosalind Moss became "Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God" and received the traditional head-to-toe Benedictine habit.
"We are to be contemplative/active," Mother Miriam says of her order's plans for praying and teaching.
"Our primary heart is for the family — to help restore the stewardship of the home, which we believe is God's primary design to build His Kingdom, which of course is why the enemy is at it 24/7 to destroy the family. We seek to help mothers to be mothers and fathers to be fathers and to not leave their children to the schools and the world. We wish to encourage parents to teach and live the faith at home."
Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope are just getting started. Two women have become postulants and have taken the title "Sister." Many more women have completed applications.
"I'll never get over the fact that God reached down and took the likes of me to Himself," says Mother Miriam. "He gave me a reason to live and then fulfilled the desires of my heart for love and meaning and purpose and fulfillment beyond all imagining. I think I've desired to be His bride my whole life without even knowing it."
Earlier this month, the community established a priory, located in Tulsa's poorest parish. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the "Lady of their house," says Mother Miriam, now prioress.
"We're setting up house," she says. "We're painting."
Mother Mariam will be among the featured speakers at the "Divine Mercy Conference: 2011" on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica in Lackawanna, N.Y. Learn more about the conference and register online.