ALL OR NOTHING
© Deacon Tom Fox 2020
Her name is (was) Sister Clare Crockett. She is more fully alive now than when she was a Sister in the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. But more on her in a bit.
Do you recall the story in the Acts of the Apostles involving Peter and John and the healing of a cripple? When questioned how and by what ‘authority’ they were getting such power, they (Peter) spoke these words:
“If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”
Do you believe this? Do you believe in the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead? Do you believe in your own resurrection from the dead? In one sense, it doesn’t really matter if you believe it because it is going to happen…
That’s part of the bottom line of our existence and faith. But how real is our belief in all this? The Nov. 24th issue of Our Sunday Visitor had an editorial with this lead: ARE YOU ALL-IN OR ARE YOU COHABITATING WITH JESUS? You know… cohabitation. Enjoying the smiles and the good times… not really being ‘profoundly’ connected to THE Church… sort of doing your own thing… no rules… just cohabitating. Or are you ALL IN? Or to put it another way: what we are involved in must be ALL OR NOTHING.
Which brings me back to Sister Clare Crockett. She was born just 30-some years ago in Derry in Northern Ireland. She was raised in the most marginal of Catholic faith practice. She could easily be called a self-centered, make-it-up, even superficial Catholic. She was attractive. Attractive enough to seek and make some progress towards an acting career. She was a poor student but getting by with cheating and help from friends, in between drunken weekends filled with ‘fags’ (cigarettes for those who forgot that expression) and improper relationships.
There’s a much longer, magnetic story of how young Clare Crockett came to be on a retreat in Spain during Holy Week. She made one ‘mistake’ — she processed forward to go along with the crowd. She moved forward and bent down to kiss the feet of Jesus on the Cross on Good Friday.
And as she left that almost mindless moment, she began to weep. And as her friend asked what was wrong, Clare couldn’t stop crying as she said, ‘He died for me… He loves me.’ Thus began the modern version of Saul becoming Paul. Thus began the Irish version of St. Augustine’s conversion: “Lord, make me chaste. But not yet.”
There is so much more I’ve read and learned about the young Clare Crockett. Her life was changed so much that she became a sister with an exciting, growing order with headquarters in Spain. Clare died in an earthquake in Equador a few years ago. She died helping young teen women to grow in faith until they would share the same motto that Clare espoused… This life… this faith walk… this practice that we do… It must be ALL OR NOTHING.
If you’d like to know more about all this… I have three recommendations. Go to www.sisterclare.com and/or you can buy the book entitled Sister Clare Crockett: Alone With Christ Alone. Or, you can go to our Catholic Vitamins website (or to iTunes) and connect with our podcast at this address: http://catholicvitamins.com/catholic-vitamin-n-niche-2/
At that web address, you can listen to our interview with Sister Kristen Gardner, SHM who wrote the book about the life of Sister Clare. My hope is that Sister Clare will convince you and others that it really is ALL OR NOTHING.