“Thank You, Lord for touching me, an untouchable because of my sins – my leprosy. Thank You, Lord, for not tossing me out into the wilderness to go about crying, “Unclean! Unclean!” Rather, You take me to Your bosom and I’m cleansed from head to toe, yet knowing there still lurk inside of me the seeds of uncleanness. Yet each day You take me to Yourself, and again I am cleansed and revived, given back hope for a life well lived. Thank You, precious Jesus. Thank You.”
“Well,” Clare continued, “that introduction kinda gives you an idea of what I’ve been going through. I’ve been on a journey into the areas of my life that need reformation, and they are indeed large and deep-seated. Just in time for Lent, a season set apart and sanctioned for purification and giving – which is the antidote for Avarice.
Lent is a time of introspection and a cleaning out the old to make room for the new.
Clare continued, “God has given us so many gifts! It is man that perverts, twists, and uses these good things for evil motives. We use the Internet to spread the Good News; Satan uses it to lure men into sin. We use cars to get from point A to point B; Satan makes them a status symbol, so men will give themselves over to excessive work and neglect their families to make money to afford them. We use a taxi to get to the doctor; a prostitute uses it to get to the bar where she will seduce men. Everything God has given us can be used for both good and evil. It is not the object or the season; it is the will and agreement of men that determines whether it is used for good or for bad intentions.
“The Lord has taught us to discern by looking at the fruits, and truly Lent is a very productive season as we cast out the old leaven in preparation for a new infilling. A lot of what has been going on with me has been seeing the stain of sin and selfishness.
“It began when I kept getting readings about repentance. I was puzzled, because I thought I was doing everything pleasing to Him. Especially that day. I became very frustrated and depressed, because He was saying there is sin to repent of–and I couldn’t put my finger on it. And I still can’t isolate one thing… yet I was begging Holy Spirit to reveal sin in my life to me.
“But then, in the course of three days – three painful days of feeling separation from the Lord – little things I never paid attention to popped up… Like wanting to buy vitamins I didn’t need yet. Being resentful for interruptions… Getting upset that I spilled a bottle of Aloe Vera Green Juice, rather than thanking God that I had it to drink. And having to repeat myself over and over again to certain individuals who were hammering me to yield to their preferences, when I had sought God and given them His best for the situation. Yet they still wanted more, and the next day – more after that.
“I felt a root of bitterness rising up from my gut that I must now deal with, and it is so extremely exhausting. Now I have a little taste of how Jesus feels when I ask Him for something, and He says “No.” And the next day I come back, having modified the request, and ask again… and again, and again, with all sorts of compromises and modifications. And the answer is still “No.” Thank you, Lord. I see what I put You through, now! I am so sorry. If it had been good for the purpose intended, He would have said “Yes” the first time. But I was dealing with my personal insecurities, self-will and needing to take control – to make it better with my ideas.
“I noticed temptations of Avarice, signs of Ungratefulness and Rancour. I was beginning to build a list in my mind. But none of these felt worthy (in my human perspective) of such severe readings on Sinfulness and Repentance that the Lord kept giving me in most of my Bible readings. So, my husband Ezekiel said, “Well, could this be about repenting for the world?” And boy, would I love to brush it off to that! I said, “No, Honey, I don’t think so. I really sense this is about me and something I’m blind to.” These readings and ‘words’ were something you would hear if you were having an adulterous relationship – not minor things that I was already resisting. He talked about the man with leprosy being cleansed and ‘sickness’ in the form of obsessive-compulsive behaviour, and worldly desires.
“So, in the course of three days, I did see tendencies. I think I would call them wrinkles in my wedding gown. They were deep-seated habits and attitudes that were not pleasing to God. Even though I didn’t out-right exercise them, they were there. But what hurt and confused me so much was that I hadn’t done anything. But I did feel the impulse to do it and suppressed it. Yet the Lord was insisting that I needed to repent. For three days I grieved over this and begged Him to reveal to me what I had done.
“Then His Mercy broke through and I realised: there is a bedrock tendency in me to allow myself many vices that easily turn into sin. Like wasting time at the end of a hard day and watching a couple of YouTubes. So, I added that to my list. I began to see that beneath this veneer of being a ‘good Christian’ were some serious faults that still exerted influence in my day-to-day life. Even though I was resisting them, they were still there, and they had an influence. I am sure there is much more, and I thank Him for not showing me everything! Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if some big things came up towards the end of Lent.
Lent is a time to get rid of the old yeast
“And I can see, by examining my own life right now, that He takes Lent very seriously. So I pass that on to you to encourage you to deny yourself during this season and do works of charity for others. Abstain from desserts and pleasing foods as well as meat and poultry on Fridays. Fish and dairy are good substitutes. I think it is best to give the Lord as much as you can with an attitude of thanksgiving. You know you can never out-give the Lord… ever.
“To make a point, Ezekiel – before he was saved – was in sin. He knew he was going to hell, so he just figured he’ll deal with that when it happens. But for some reason, a spark inside of him decided to abstain from sodas for Lent. At the end of Lent he had a marvellous conversion experience that was the beginning of his life in God.
A Little More Information on Lent
During the 40 days of Lent, Christians remember the time when Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray. But also, the focus is on giving, sacrificing for the poor while denying yourself. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Me.”
By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus’ sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. And we fast from both food and festivities. The thing to remember, dear ones, is that this is a time of emptying so that we can be refilled by the Spirit of God, with holy things. The more we draw away from feeding the fancies of the flesh, the deader our flesh becomes, the less influence it exerts over us, and the more we grow in sensitivity to spiritual things. Therefore we can expect that at the end of a well-observed Lent, there will be spiritual breakthroughs, and maybe even the grace to live a far more spiritual life than what we were living.”
Suggestions for what to give up for Lent.
· Is this something I like?
· Is this something I enjoy doing/eating?
· Is this something that’s important to me?
· Do I think this will be a challenge throughout Lent?
· Will I appreciate this when I can have/do it again on Easter?
· Am I giving this up because I have to (someone is making me), or because I want to?
· Is this a true sacrifice?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions, you’ve chosen an excellent Lenten sacrifice (This interesting little list is from Wikipedia).
Clare asked Jesus, “Lord, have You something to add?”
Jesus began, “Oh, the influence and power a pure soul has before My Father in Heaven. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see shall Me.
“Dear Children, this season is most necessary for you, because you accumulate the toxins of the world. They cling to you like barnacles on a ship. The longer you’ve been in the world, the greater the build-up of attractions and distractions of the world. And the more impurity you build up.
“As you can see from the Gospels, even I felt the necessity of cleansing Myself from 30 years of living in the world, yet not being of the world. And My mother is not of this world. Rather, she is a most heavenly woman, completely caught up in the agenda of Heaven and leading others to holiness.
“She had quite a reputation for being very innocent and pure. As a young one, she practised the abstinences of the Temple as she was growing. Because of her tender age, she was not required to do what the priests did. However, zeal for Heaven was so great in her young soul that she hungered to dwell in the Heavenlies and was given many Heavenly visions that only served to make her more dedicated as she grew up.
“Her home had not a hint of the world – not in speech, nor in dress, nor in necessary things. All was very plain and did not attract you to itself. Whereas in a palace, everything from the floor to the curtains and the furniture, lamp stands, etc. is lavish and decorated in such a way that you could not walk through the palace without stopping to admire the workmanship of so many beautiful objects.
“You see, this beauty on Earth begets a hunger for more beauty on Earth–and one begins to long after fine carvings, gemstones, marble floors, silk curtains and elaborate clothing. The most elaborate thing she ever did was My one-piece tunic.
“But herein lies the entire secret of her holy life. She surrounded herself with nothing other than the plainest pots and bowls, mats and utensils. She had no longing for these things, because she starved it out of her soul. Anne and Joachim, her parents, also lived an austere life, because their hearts were very much turned Heavenward. They had lived and seen so much of the world, it had no appeal to them at all.
“And this is why I came to Earth in poverty. There was nothing in My appearing that would appeal to the carnal man. It would be the shepherds, fishermen, and carpenters that were attracted to Me, because their hearts were empty of the desires and glories of man on Earth.
“Substance is everything. The outer appearance means nothing if the inside is not Godly.
“And so I began My ministry by depriving My flesh, so it would let go of the accumulated sights and sounds of the past, wanting only to be free of all Earthly entanglements. This cleansing subdued My flesh, so I could be more deeply united with My Father.
“Truly the flesh is a briar patch, and you cannot walk through this world without attracting thorns and thistles to yourself. And this time, completely apart from human and worldly consolations, broadened the space of My flesh to receive more and more of the Spirit.”
Clare said, “In other words, I think He’s meaning here that His flesh was under the control of His Spirit more and more.“
Jesus continued, “That is why this spring cleansing has so much spiritual significance. My dear ones. I wish to fill you more and more. I wish to direct your lives out of this world and into the world soon to come, just as I led the Israelites out of the abundance of exotic foods into the desert with only Manna to eat. It was to be a cleansing from the accumulated toxins of the Egyptian culture with all its idols.
“There I tested and tried the people to see if they were worthy to enter the Promised Land. Your Promised Land is the Realm of Heaven and I am preparing you for the journey Homeward.
“Yet, there is work to be done on Earth, and each of you needs a new vision in understanding, equipping, and opportunities to leave the very best of yourselves behind to nourish those yet to enter the Kingdom. So, I am coming to you to entreat you to observe the Lenten fasts to the best of your ability, while steadily looking forward to the new infillings and equippings I will infuse into your souls as you make more and more room for Me.
“For some of you, this will be very difficult. Clare, My darling, I know you fear these challenges. Yet I will help you, all of you. Call out to Me when you struggle and I will gently lead you out of your trial.
“For all of you, Heart Dwellers, I exhort you to do your best, knowing that for each pleasing morsel you give up, I have spiritual gifts and mantles accumulating for you, which I have longed to lavish on you, My Beautiful Bride.”
Note from So Greatly Loved
This very frank testimony of Clare’s, and the message from Jesus about searching our hearts and repenting, are both challenging and uplifting. In my blog, in addition to many articles the Lord specifically asked me to write, I share from time to time words given by Jesus to Clare du Bois. She encourages us to share them because the teachings from the Lord are relevant to, and needed by, most Christians. These words from Jesus are received through the gift of prophecy (see 1 Corinthians chapter 12). To learn more, check out the Still Small Voice channel on the Vimeo app, where there are more than 1,000 videos.
Further thoughts on Lent
The season of Lent can be an immense spiritual blessing to us if we ask Jesus to help us to observe it in the way that most pleases Him. It is a gift to all Christians and not only for Catholics. I’m not Catholic, but this year I am making a greater effort, and I’m already benefiting from doing what Jesus is leading me to do. There are many ways in which the Lenten season can be a time of significant spiritual breakthrough for us.
There are various ways in which we can deny ourselves by cutting down on food during Lent. It is not too late to begin, and Jesus will reward even the smallest effort we make to deny ourselves.
Here are more ideas we can consider following. Jesus will bless us for making even one sacrifice.