“This venerable Abbess loved not only the souls of her sisters, she also took care of their little bodies with wonderful zeal of charity.” —The Legend of St. Clare
Throughout her life, Clare demonstrated great compassion for others. Nowhere was this more evident than in the care of her sisters. There are accounts of her encouraging sisters who were struggling with the challenges of their order to have grace with themselves. She sat with those who suffered from depression and consoled those who shed tears. Hers was a ministry of presence and service.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
Clare’s incarnational spirituality is radical. It is not a “consumer spirituality” for curious seekers nor is it a spirituality for the ambivalent or weak of heart. It is a spirituality of participation in the mystical Body of Christ. It is for those who want to make a personal difference in the world through personal transformation. Transformation means change.
Clare calls Agnes to real change, and we might say, she calls us to change as well. Are we willing to change? What are we willing to change? Where we live or what we do for a living? Clare calls us to the root of change, to “possess” poverty as created human beings, to claim our dependency on God and our neighbor in whom God lives, to live as poor persons in relation to the poor Christ whose poverty is the wealth of love. She challenges our desires by directing them away from material things to the one thing necessary, contemplative union with God. In her own way she offers a caveat to what we desire.
If we desire happiness, the reign of God, peace, and justice, or if we desire that the life of Christ be the life of the world, then we must be prepared to realize these desires in our own lives. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
May we be present, as you were,
to those in need of comfort or guidance.
Help us be attentive to where we are needed.