Monday, 4 June 2012


From Rasa Von Werder 6  4  12
I am on Face Book like so:


During this time I lived an abstemious life in all ways. It was the most
austere I had lived except during the time I was practicing yoga 1970-

Many things were removed from myself. All human comforts, by way of
celibacy, and I was in isolation.

Let me give a list of things that I practiced and/or gave up.

1. No sex, no human contact or intercourse of any type.

2. No TV or radio or any sort of device like music that brings the world
in or captures the senses. No secular reading.

3. Modest food consumption.

4. Removed beds from apartment and slept on floor on a few rugs.

5. Went to daily Mass, sometimes sat through 2 or 3 Masses, receiving Our
Lord's Body and Blood each time if the Priest didn't catch me. (It was
illegal at the time to receive more than once a day, unless the other Mass
was funeral or wedding.)

6. Spent the bulk of the day in prayer. Litanies, prayers from books of
saints and 'Enchiridion of Indulgences', the Holy Rosary, personal
prayers, even singing songs to God.

7. Spent one to three hours daily reading Catholic books; lives of saints,
theology, mystics.

8. Was fulfilling many devotions, some of which had been started one to
three years earlier.

9. Made all sacrifices by giving away material things, as St. Francis of
Assisi instructed.

10. Did everything possible to keep a clean heart, examining my
conscience daily.


1. As I said, I was celibate. (May 27, 1978) gave my promise to Our
Blessed Mother. But now my inner voice, called 'Atman' or 'Self' in yoga -
instructed me to cut all ties with people. I was to tell my family and
friends no letters, no phone calls. This was not easy, as some people got
really offended. One man who was totally devoted to me later confessed
that when I told him this, he wanted to end his life. Another lady friend
took it badly also. My sister just thought I was nuts (as usual, doing all
sorts of strange and unusual things - I could read her mind.) I told these

'Something is going on spiritually, and this is what I have to do for the
time being. Please do not contact me in any way. I must be alone.'

The hardest person to give up was my spiritual son, David. He was sixteen
and quite needy as far as inspiring his faith. He totally believed in me,
and I kept holding on to him. God kept pushing me to give him up. Finally
I told him and he was the last person. (It was really hard for me to
believe God would want me to give up a spiritual child, but God insisted.)

When outside I did not stop anywhere to converse with anyone (like I used
to do). If people tried to talk to me, I cut them off. I was always in a
hurry to get back to God! I felt right now it would be a transgression to
chit chit or idly gossip with anyone. Once I said 'hi' to someone and then
felt guilty for the rest of the night. But God told me it was ok.

After I had been in this state for a while, I was in another
consciousness. I do recall rarely I had to pick up the phone and speak to
someone. I felt like I was in an elevated area, looking down on them (not
judgmental but rather in perspective) and I could hear every word they
said as being from the flesh. I could see where it came from and the
utter waste of it - the shallow and foolish nature of all that people
were saying. I would listen patiently, not participate except to be
polite, and hang up as quickly as I could.

I did recall two instructions. One, from Anne Catherine Emmerich, Jesus
said, speaking to the disciples, that they had to sit on top of the palm
tree, looking down at earthly life. If they participated in it, they
could not be good ministers. They could not see the world objectively, if
they got under its subjective feelings, family matters and all that. (Be
in the world, not of it.)

The other instruction was from St. Teresa of Avila. She noted how talking
to family and friends THROUGH THE GRATE of the convent seemed so innocent,
and yet IT DETERIORATED HER SPIRITUAL LIFE. I took that to be the same as
seemingly innocent phone calls.

2. During many parts of my life, including this one, I have sequestered
myself away from television and all current events, and all diversions
that connect the senses to the world and flesh.

I recalled the instruction of St. Benedict (the father of monasticism.) He
had to send monks out on errands to the city. But when they returned he
said to them,

'Do not bring the news of the city back here. We have left the city to be
with God, do not bring the city back to us.'

I took it to understand that current events, coming through the radio and
television, would have the same effect. If I wanted to be with God, I
would have to separate myself from the world and flesh in all ways. After
all, what did it mean, to love God with all one's mind, strength and
heart? To love God totally and completely? How do you do that? In my
case, I discerned I was to separate myself from all things not God and
put all of my attention, all my time, and energy onto God - in whatever
way I could. So that is what I did.

I now recall an instruction from the great faith healer Smith Wigglesworth
(Apostle of Faith, died in the 50's) as told by Dr. Lester Sumrall. Lester
Sumrall, as a young fellow, was visiting Rev. Wigglesworth in England. He
stood outside the good Rev.'s door, wearing a bowler hat, carrying an
umbrella and a newspapers under his arm. Rev. Smith opened the door and
barked at him to 'get rid of that - it is all lies!' meaning the newspaper
- grabbed it from Lester and threw it into the bushes. (When they went
inside subjected Lester to hours of bible reading and prayer!) I was not
familiar with this story at the time of these disciplines, but it proves
the point. Getting rid of the lies means getting rid of the sense of
'current events,' the time and space' world which seems so real but is
delusion. It is along the same lines as good St. Benedict propounded.

3. Food consumption. Every Sunday I fasted not only from food but
foolishly, from water. That, one should never do, as water is necessary
to stay healthy. By the end of each 24 hour period, I felt really ill,
(obviously from lack of water) and could only stand it by praying on my
knees the last two hours, holding on against the craving to fill my body
with nourishment. The rest of the time I ate, as most of my life,

4. Removed beds, slept on floor. I cannot recall where I got this idea,
but can only remember having the strong feeling that beds were decadent
and unnecessary. They were a luxury, they represented to me sex and
luxury, and that I would have none of it.

5. Daily Masses. Yet I believe I occasionally missed a Mass at that time
due to not feeling well (then I did participate via television) - but
there was a time when I never missed Mass three years in a row - not one
day, even when traveling and going with two hours of sleep not to miss


6. I had a regular list of prayers that I had to say daily. They were
from a book of indulgences..... I especially noticed the prayers of St.
Gertrude the Great, the Herald of Divine Love. She was very important to
me. She had prayers for thanking God for all the graces 'He' had given
the world, and to thank God for the graces given her, and I prayed that
God would give me her graces as well. She was a great mystic, and
eventually, I would walk into her shoes of interior Divine Stigmata. She,
Ven. Mary of Agreda, and Anne Catherine Emmerich, were my constant
companions in spirit. Ditto St. Francis of Assisi. I was saying the
rosary with all the mysteries as well. I prayed fervently, with much
emotion and strength. I put all of myself into it.

7. Reading spiritual books. This was important. I cannot stress how much
inspiration spiritual books give - especially books of saints - and how
much distraction and delusion secular books bring to the mind. As soon as
I would read of a saint, I wanted to do all that the saint had done, and I
tried. I couldn't stand the thought that they had gotten closer to God
than I was! I wanted to be there more than I wanted anything else in life!

8. Many devotions. I had been saying St. Brigitte's prayers on the Passion
of Jesus Christ, and this was the third and last year, 1981. The day I
finished Jesus appeared to me, hugged and kissed me tenderly! These were
twelve daily prayers honoring Our Lord's sorrows and wounds. It is worthy
of note that at this time I felt so sorry for the sufferings of Jesus that
tears would flow from my eyes - proof that my emotions were given up to
God and not wasted on worldly things.

Another important devotion I learned from Teresa Helena Higginson,
(1844-1905) a great mystic of England. I had a card (as well as her
biography) which explained the devotion to Our Lord's Sacred Head as 'The
Seat of Divine Wisdom.' This devotion was tied to that of worshipping His
Sacred Heart. It is the GUIDING POWER of the Sacred Heart. This honored
his memory, intellect and will. (The brilliant schoolteacher wanted to
become a nun, but her 'director'(a priest) refused. Perhaps that is why
she has been overlooked for canonization. The Catholic Church wants its
female saints to all have come from convents, probably to make sure they
were under observation and never had sex.)

9. Gave away physical things as St. Francis instructed. I did not have
much money or things at this time. All I had was what I needed, with
little left over. One day, thinking about luxuries I might be sitting on I
remembered a velvet flamenco painting I found while traveling. Very
beautiful, it would be something I could give away easily. My neighbors
were all Spanish. (I lived surrounded by Puerto Ricans, the only Caucasian
left. The Jews, Lithuanians and Pollacks had long left. I had been there
forever....... race never bothered me. The apartment was a sixth floor
walkup.) I at first resisted giving away this little 'prize,' but
conquered my greed. Knocked on the door of my neighbor, where a young dark
haired woman faced me. I showed her the velvet painting (a tapestry) and
she said,


I gave it to her as the only luxury I had, and I was free and clean.

St. Francis was the one who followed Jesus' perhaps tongue-in-cheek words
to the rich young man,

'God, sell all you have, give to the poor, and follow me.'

The rich young man walked away sad, but others took Him up on it.

One day, as I was walking up to my Brooklyn building doorstep I sensed
the presence of Satan. He growled at me angrily,

'So now you think you're St. Francis of Assisi!'

I was startled that the devil could compare me to this great saint, who
in my estimation, was light years ahead of me. Then I thought,

'If the devil was that mad at me, maybe I am getting closer to St.
Francis! Why else would he be angry?' This thought, then, gave me great

I must add this concerning my finances. To undergo an austerity like this,
I was not able to work. I made a firm decision not to take any jobs (I was
a dancer) until God got through with me, with whatever was in store. But
having little money meant I had to live close to the belt. I gave myself
an allowance of $50. a week for all things after bills, and kept to it.
This meant meager food, and no luxuries . I stuck to it. I maintained this
budget for most of two years.

10. Examination of conscience is one of the most important points to the
life of Perfection. It is amazing how much dirt one can find in oneself,
if searching for it diligently. At a place like this, you aren't
committing any gross or obvious sins, but the sins against charity can be
numerous in one's thoughts and feelings. It is these that must be
cleansed, as well as keeping your zeal for God at the highest pitch. You
must be sure that you say your prayers with great love, and they are
sincere. This takes much attention.

Rasa Von Werder  November 24, 2005  NEXT INSTALLMENT:
Jesus and Mary appear to me at this time, bringing many Gifts and favors.


I shall try to explain how I got to the place of seeing our Infinite God
face to face in the simplest way possible, so that anyone who aspires to
this can follow in my footsteps. There are no guarantees as God takes each
soul in a totally unique way, but you can try what I did and see if it
works, or some version of it works. (There is no absolute formula. It is
trial and error.)

I shall now go back only to Easter, 1981, ten months prior to the first
experience of being on the other side. I had finished reading the four
volumes of 'The Mystical City of God,' by Ven. Mary of Agreda, translated
by Fiscar Marison. It is the biography of Our Holy Mother Mary (and
including much about Jesus and all the events surrounding their lives as
well as other things.) Holy Thursday, April 16, 1981, is the day. On that
day a supernatural gift was given me, which I call infused Contemplation.
Like many of my gifts, I did not understand them or how to explain them
until I read books on mystical theology - the experiences of the saints.
When I first received this gift I called it 'the gift of cleansing of
images,' because Mary of Agreda described it. How to explain? Your mind is
cleansed so that you are in a place, high above all earthly things
including memories. There is no torment, no regret, no wishing for
anything, no memory. Everything that ever happened to you seems far away,
so far away that it does not touch your emotions. (Apparently it is in the
memories that one suffers most torment or sorrow.) It is, perhaps, these
memories that influence your present day responses to things. Buttons are
pushed because of memories. Now a small child with no memories to speak of
does not react to things because that child has no experience or memories
to speak of. And so, whatever happens, no buttons are pushed. It is like
that. You are like a child before experiences and memories, and you are
free, and nothing affects you. This phenomenon lasted four days and

Later, when studying Evelyn Underhill's 'Mysticism' it seemed to me that
infused contemplation sounded like that. She said the mind 'sees all
things at once' and that was part of it. Perhaps without encumbrance the
mind is free to see the whole picture. It is a feeling of standing above
the world and looking at it from a higher place, and just grasping reality
at once, without needing to think about it.
Rasa Von Werder  November 24 2005

1 comment:

  1. Dear Guru Rasa,

    Do you recommend that your devotees become Catholic?