Claire, Covid and the Feast of the Presentation

Claire 2020Claire 2020I take this opportunity to greet all my friends. I am now 94 and moved to St Anne’s Home in Stoke Newington in March 2020 just at the beginning of the lockdown.

It was a double challenge for me: to leave my Community in Hackney and adapt to my new Home and make new friends and at the same time share the restrictions resulting from the lockdown. This meant my old friends could not come to visit me and help me settle in. Fortunately, there had just been time to install a telephone line in my room which has been a life-line. My community phone me every day and as I am nearly blind a Little sister reads to me the texts from the liturgy of the day over the phone. This is a great source of nourishment. I can mull over these words from Sacred Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to bring them to life in me.

I thank God for my Carers and for the Sisters. I have so many new things to learn taking into account my deafness and blindness and adapting and making friends. Being blind often puts me in all sorts of funny situations. I need a sense of humour!

How do I grow in the Lord? I have to let go of a lot of things and not want to plan things my way! My mind is clear so it is hard not to be able organize the sometimes very small details of my life myself. Because of my blindness I rely on others for nearly everything. I see I still have a steep mountain to climb!

Jesus leads me into the desert. He wants me to trust and quite simply to welcome his great love for me even without feeling him or seeing him. St Paul says ‘Glorify God in your weakness’. I just pray asking Jesus to help me to be what he wants me to be. I ask him to use me as he wishes but it is not easy. It is a call to a blind faith.

My greatest friend is St Theresa of the Child Jesus and I know she is spending her heaven doing good on earth. Sometimes we live beautiful things but we do not see it. As I do not sleep well I spend the night saying prayers I remember and poetry. It is a long wait for the morning but I try to turn my waiting into a prayer of hope. So today is the Presentation, a celebration of my entering into the Community of the Little sisters.

I see Simeon and Anna both advanced in years waiting, waiting for the coming of the Holy One into the Temple. And Mary and Joseph bring Jesus, not a resplendent King but a tiny baby who Simeon takes in his arms . He embraces him, he loves him. I ask God to help me to recognize this humble God who shares our weakness and whose only message is ‘Trust in me and have Confidence’.