“When she did not have a chaplet with which to count the Our Father, she would count her little prayers to the Lord with a pile of pebbles.” —The Legend of St. Clare
Clare’s holiness began while she was still a child. She was known for her mercy for others, often wore a hairshirt under her fine clothes, and vowed celibacy at a young age. Those stirrings were fueled by her mother’s staunch faith. During a war between Assisi and Perugia, she served others while her family was in exile in Perugia. It couldn’t have been easy to seem so misaligned with the society into which she was born. Despite that, however, she was determined to stay true to her love of Christ.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
In her first letter to Agnes of Bohemia (a letter which is still rather like one written by a noble woman living a long way away to one of whom she had only recently heard) Clare herself says:
O blessed poverty, who bestows eternal riches on those who love and embrace her!
O holy poverty, God promises the kingdom of heaven and, beyond any doubt,
reveals eternal glory and blessed life to those who have and embrace her!
O God-centered poverty, whom the Lord Jesus Christ, who ruled and still rules heaven and earth,
who spoke and things were made, came down to embrace before all else!
Poverty, which appears to people as a sad state is for Clare a source of blessedness and happiness. Here we are not speaking about a monastic virtue, practiced as an exercise in mortification, but of an existential discovery which far outstrips the bounds of justice. That which appears sad is instead a source of joy, that which appeared weak is instead an option of the Omnipotent Himself. —from Saint Clare: Beyond the Legend
You are a shining example of how to stay true to who you are.
May we embrace your confidence in order to embrace who we are.