“This woman was a clear spring of the Spoleto Valley that offered a new fountain of living water for the refreshment and comfort of souls.” —Papal Decree of Canonization
When St. Clare died on August 11, 1253, she was only fifty-nine years old. Yet what she accomplished in those fifty-nine years has endured even today. That says a lot about her and the strength of her faith. It also gives us something to reflect upon. If we were to die tomorrow, what would our legacy be? Have we made an impact that will be felt years from now?
The season of Lent seems a perfect time for us to think about the mark we would like to leave on society.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
While everyone has the capacity for love, not everyone acts out of love. Obviously, for Clare, the wicked do not, as she writes: “How many…let themselves be deceived, for, even though their pride may reach the skies and their heads touch the clouds, in the end they are as forgotten as a dung-heap!”
And who are the wicked? Are we among them? Are the wicked those who do bad things or those who fail in love? We might say, for Clare, the wicked are those who fail in love, who are so preoccupied with themselves that they deceive themselves by looking into the wrong mirrors, mirrors that distort their image and make them think they are something other than what they really are.
We wind up, in Clare’s words, in a “dung-heap.” We may attain material success but if we have failed to learn how to love we miss out on the heart of life.
To look into the mirror of the cross is to realize that we are called to be images of God, and to be images of God we are called into relationships of love. How do we come to that place in life where we can transcend our self-concerns and self-centeredness, where we reach out to others instead of reaching out for ourselves, where we are free to lay down our lives if necessary out of love for another? –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
Your example offers a perfect challenge
to us during this season of Lent.
May we use your example as a light
by which to move forward.