Excerpt from Desert Warrior
Talk given by M. Nadine


“Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your Word.’” (Lk 1:38)

Let’s briefly look at some of the fruits of desert spirituality. The fruit of this desert spirituality for Our Lady was Jesus. She listened. She heard. She did ask a question (which is fine), “How can this be?” (Lk 1:34). Then she gave Her “yes”. She made a definite choice, and she chose and surrendered to God’s will. “Be it done to me (no conditions here) according to Your Word” (Lk 1:38). This means – Your way, Your time. Have you ever given a “yes” to the Lord but with the condition of “tomorrow” or “not yet” or “I don’t think I’m quite ready”? What joy to give a surrendered, unconditional “yes” to the Lord like Our Lady!

Another fruit of the desert spirituality is that it feeds us. We need to be fed by God personally. We need God’s Word; we need God’s life. One time when Mother Teresa came to America and saw the spiritual poverty of our country, she said that America had the worst spiritual poverty of any nation in the world. We were the poorest of the poor and extremely hungry for the Divine, the spiritual. So we need this Daily Bread. Every day we need to be fed something from God. We can’t give something we don’t have. We need to receive more Love if we are going to live the New Commandment of Love. We need to receive more of God if we are going to share Him with others.

Another beautiful fruit of desert spirituality is revelation. God initiates. It is a gift. God initiated the presence of the entire Trinity to Our Lady at the Annunciation. God will always reveal Himself because He takes the first step. He is Love (1 Jn 4:8). He is the Lover –we are the beloved –and so He always initiates.

When we have this intimacy with God, another special fruit of desert spirituality is it will help us to resist temptation. There can be a lot of temptations, evil, and dangers in deserts, but when Jesus was tempted by Satan to turn the stones into food, Jesus didn’t waiver because He was already being fed by His Father. One time I asked God, “Where did Eve make her biggest mistake?” We can’t stop that first insidious voice of Satan, that first accusation or that first temptation, but we do have power over the second step of how we are going to react. The Lord showed me, “She didn’t check it out with Me.” All she had to do was talk it over with God. And so, we must remember to always check it out.

“But the Woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to Her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of…” (Rev 12:14)