“Cling to His most sweet Mother who carried a Son whom the heavens could not contain; and yet she carried Him in the little enclosure of her holy womb and held Him on her virginal lap.” —Third Letter to Agnes of Prague
Beginning with Mother Mary, our faith is blessed with a long line of strong and holy women. Clare is definitely one of them. Just like Mary, it took great strength and courage to take the path that she did. Just for a moment imagine what it would be like to walk away from everything you own. Could you replace a life of comfort with a rough brown robe and bare feet? Such a decision shows immense strength of character and devotion to her faith.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
Clare herself was deeply inspired by the life of Francis. She felt bonded to him as a plant to its root and saw in him the example of Christ. In the Testament, attributed to Clare, it is written, “The Son of God has been made for us the Way (cf. Jn 14:6) which our blessed father Francis, His true lover and imitator, has shown and taught us by word and example.”
In her view, to contemplate Christ and be transformed is to bear witness to Christ and thus to allow the life of Christ to shine through the life of the believer. Christian life is about visible presence. We are not only to follow Christ but to give birth to Christ in our lives. Clare’s spiritual path is a mystical one. It is a mysticism of motherhood because she not only seeks the hidden presence of God but asks that the love of God be brought to birth in our lives.
She holds up Mary, the Mother of God, as the model of this mystical path, indicating to Agnes that she should “cling to His most sweet Mother who gave birth to a Son whom the heavens could not contain.” –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
When we need to be strong,
may we be reminded of your determination
in doing what was necessary to achieve the life you desired.