by Sr Gemma, FOH
“May the Lord be always with you, and may he make it so that you are always with him.”
-excerpt from the Blessing of St Clare
When I first heard this blessing of St. Clare, it struck an immediate chord in my heart. How often I pray that God may remain always with me, aware that without him I can accomplish nothing. When something difficult happens, we raise our hearts to him, asking him to remain with us. When something good happens, then too we thank him for being with us. But I had never considered the fact that I have a role to play in this too. He is always with me, but I have to take care to keep myself always with him. When I complain of feeling far from Christ, it is not because he has abandoned me. Unlike human relationships, if there’s a problem, it’s always of my creation. Even this remaining with him is the Lord’s work, because it is he who inspires in me all that is good. St Clare reminds me to keep up my end of the work, to be open to him and to allow him to keep me close to his heart.
It is useful to remember this blessing of St Clare when I want to complain of how difficult it is to pray or to make my heart take part in the joy of heaven. It reminds me that the Lord never abandons me, but I am able to abandon him. In the difficult moments, we remember that I have to choose to love Christ and to remain with him. This involves a change of perspective on our part. It’s not enough for me to complain that God does not do everything for me; I have to play my part too. Each day I must choose to remain with Christ, and ask him to help me in this, so that I may never abandon him.