“Love that does not know of suffering is not worthy of the name.”
St. Clare’s life was not easy. From the struggle to follow her religious vocation, to the physical suffering she experienced throughout her life, to the pope’s ongoing resistance to approving her rule for the sisters, she continually pushed forward with strength. It would have been understandable if at any point she gave up the fight. Yet she persevered out of the love she had for Christ.
What a powerful example of leaning into, rather than away from, one’s faith for support during times of suffering.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
Time passes. At last, we read that Clare, Catherine—now Agnes of Assisi—and others already affiliated with them, take up residence in the small monastery attached to the church of San Damiano. This monastery had once served as a way station for monks working in the valley at a distance that prevented return to the monastery at the top of Mount Subasio on a nightly basis. Now it was under the bishop’s jurisdiction. He extends his protection to this newest expression of feminine Christian renewal. He is trusting that his support will not be in vain.
Now Clare and her very first sister companions take up the life they envisioned. San Damiano is outside the city walls on the lower slope of the mountain and close to an ancient mineral spring. It functioned as a refuge for anyone making the ascent into the city but unable to reach it before curfew. It functioned as a place known for healing waters from Roman times. It functioned as a refuge for friars in need of recuperation from illness or exhaustion. It functioned as the place where Clare, the “footprint of the Mother of God,” manifests unending feminine compassion to all in need. —from Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
May your example
of remaining steadfast in your faith
inspire us during our own times of struggle.