The Glory Vision
Mary Ward had left England for France in 1606 to pursue a religious vocation, something that was not possible in England at that time when Catholics were persecuted for the practice of their faith. Mary founded a Poor Clare convent at Gravelines after receiving a gift of land. However she was shown clearly by the Holy Spirit that she was not to be of the Order of St. Clare. She perceived there was some other good thing that God willed for her, the nature of which she could not immediately apprehend. Because of this inward sense of clarity, she left the Poor Clare community and the happiness that she had known there. She returned to England in 1609.
One morning in 1609, when Mary Ward was in London, she had just made her meditation with, as she thought little fervour. While dressing she resolved to make amends for this by giving a large sum of money to a person who fervently desired to enter religious life but lacked the necessary dowry. According to Mary she was doing her hair before a mirror when she had a profound spiritual experience. She perceived clearly that it was not God’s will that she should enter an austere order, something that she was considering at the time, but rather that she was called to a more excellent state which would do far more to promote the glory of God.