Lenten lockdown has softened my heart.

This week we saw the 1 year anniversary of the lockdowns. And once again we are entering into Holy Week in unprecedented circumstances. Thankfully many churches are open now, and we will be taking part in communal worship during the most important and emotional week of the Christian calendar. But for many, their church is still heartbreakinly closed, or the travel restrictions make it impossible to attend. 

I have to admit that I have been completely unable to do anything this Lent. I haven't been able to give up even 1 cup of coffee - not because I don't care, but because it feels too much to cope with. It was an enormous relief to admit this part of my heart to the online Catholic community and find so many other people in exactly the same boat. I was told that it was more important to prioritise my mental health at this time. 
But I do feel there is a mighty spiritual lesson to learn here too. Humility. I am too weak right now to fast. Not physically, but mentally. It takes enormous humility to admit this - and my pride is certainly hurt. But perhaps this is exactly the lesson God wants me to learn this year? 
I am notoriously bad at asking for, and accepting help. My pride is such that I would rather suffer needlessly than admit weakness. I am concerned with how others might judge me. Clearly this is something that needs addressing in my interior life, and it looks like now is as good a time as any. 
Scripture reminds me that even Jesus accepted help from Simon of Cyrene, when His body was too weak to drag His heavy cross up the hill to Calvary. Tradition tells us that He accepted help from Veronica as she gave Him a drink and wiped His face. Faith and reason tell me that He accepted support from His Mother, Magdalene and John as they faithfully stood at the foot of the cross. So who am I to think I can carry my cross alone? That is not how God intends us to be. 
As a Carmelite, I have never really understood or valued the social side of our Catholic community. I am naturally happier on my own. But being forced to be apart from the community, the family, has broken and perhaps softened my heart. It has made me realise that I do need you, and what a deep love I have for each one of you. We are brothers and sisters, after all. 
I hope this dose of humility in admitting that I need you, and love you, gives more glory to God this Lent than feeling proud about giving up a lousy cup of coffee would! Quite frankly it's all I've got to give this year, so there we have it - here is my heart.


This week's featured product:

Amethyst Holy Face 1 decade Rosary £25/$34

Amethyst natural stone beads, with a beautiful Holy Face center, and a large pardon crucifix which incorporates the miraculous medal and the Benedict medal.

Large ornate silver coloured Our Father beads. Available in large 5 decade or small 1 decade sizes. Comes in a free organza presentation bag. Worldwide Shipping.

Available Here: https://www.diclara.co.uk/products/copy-of-holy-face-rosary-purple


Available Here: https://www.diclara.co.uk/products/copy-of-holy-face-rosary-purple


  • Nen Higgins

    Dear Clare, your msg really touch my heart. I bought several mantillas from you before. I couldn’t remember how many, it was sometime ago. I was so happy to see them wearing them at mass. Now I’m disabled and in very bad health ( cancer ) I was heartbroken when my husband passed away 3 years ago, I was grieving until the lockdown came. Then I realise, The Good Lord took my husband home because He love me, as He didn’t me to suffer unnecessary as my husband loved traveling and outdoors out the country. If he was alive today, the lockdown would definitely bring him back to the drink again, as my husband was reformed alcoholic. God bless him, Rip.

  • Eleanor Spencer

    What a wonderful message Clare. I have wondered how you were.your pictures you used to post on facebook were so beautiful and the chapel you made tooky breath away. God bless you and your family

Leave a comment