“Let the love you have in your hearts be shown outwardly in your deeds.”
—The Testament of St. Clare
Since St. Clare of Assisi and her sisters never left the convent of San Damiano, it seems this directive could be challenging. Yet Clare still showed her love outwardly through her letters and through service to her sisters. Her life is a perfect example that acts of love don’t have to be grand and flashy. Sometimes the best way to show our love is through simple, small acts that show how we feel.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
Probably the most frequent visitors came needing help and prayers. The sisters were sought out when need arose in Assisi and nearby towns. The ordinary remedies and skills of more than one sister would be in constant demand. The monastery’s origins as a hospice revived as friars and others came there for healing and restoration. While we will look closely at the healing ministry of Clare later, it is enough to say that the reputation of San Damiano was a magnet for those in need.
From serious conditions of body and soul to the normal childhood emergency—like the small boy with a stone stuck in his nose—Clare and the sisters were a “go to” font of expert help. Sometimes the need was for prayer, advice, and admonition. A marriage in trouble, a battle threatened, a family quarrel to solve—all petitions would find wise counsel and ardent prayer offered generously.
What prayers would you bring to Clare and her sisters? —from Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
From within the walls of San Damiano
you found a way to reach out
and spread your message of love to others.
May we use that example as a reminder
that great love can be shown in simple ways.