Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Clare: Fourth Wednesday

Cross on a mountain with the sunset

“The work you have begun so well, complete it!”
—Letter to Ermentrude of Bruges

Stop and think of yourself in Clare’s place. It’s difficult, isn’t it? That’s because we are all called to serve Christ in different ways. Clare’s way is not your way, nor is it anyone else’s. What we must do, however, is to seek and pray about our calling to bring God’s message to others. St. Clare can serve as an inspiration, but it is up to each of us to chart our own paths.

Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate

Clare is a mystic who delights in living in the mystery of God. She assures Agnes that God has invited her into the divine embrace if she is willing to accept the invitation. As she enters into that embrace, she is to realize the transience of earthly things and the infinite wealth of heaven, which is not a place but a relationship of love. In the cross of Jesus Christ, Clare realizes that God does not hold back anything for himself but rather gives himself completely to us.

Divine revelation is the movement of God to poverty. The One who is rich in love comes down to where we are, takes on our humanity, and extends his arms on the cross to embrace us in love. In the mystery of the cross, therefore, Clare sees that God is self-giving and self-gift. God gives everything to us in the gift of the Son or, in Clare’s words, the “beloved Spouse.”

God loves us to such a degree we might say that God “throws it all away” out of love to be God-for-us. The poverty of God is the source of our true riches because “God promises the kingdom of heaven to those who possess and desire you [poverty].” The sign of God’s outpouring love is the cross which manifests to Clare the victory of love. She tells Agnes that she is already caught up in God’s embrace (of love), indicating that God does not love us for what we do but for who we are. God does not love us because we are good or perfect or do nice things but simply because God is love. Love is what God does because God is love.

Those who “desire and possess” poverty, Clare indicates, live in the embrace of God’s love. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love


lent with saint clare

Prayer

St. Clare,
In you we see a model of faith.
In that model, may we find inspiration
to discover our own way of fulfilling our ministry to the world.
Amen.



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5 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Fourth Wednesday”

  1. Fr.Henning ask how can we see Christ in our moments of loneliness, pain ect. Pslam 23 tell us – Even when I walk in the valley of darkness- loneliness , pain .lost- I will fear no evil for you are with me . Your rod and your staff- G-d support- they comfort me. G-d is always with us. We just need to call on Him-Blessed be His Holy name.
    For only when we call on Him- Blessed be His Holy name- in truth will He – Blessed be His Holy name – answer us.

  2. Heaven is “not a place but a relationship of love.”
    I really like the idea of heaven as not a place but as a relationship. A state of being united with the Trinitarian communion of love. We begin our relationship with God on earth and continue in eternity. We belong to the Communion of Saints. The community joined to God on earth and in heaven eternally one.

  3. Fr. Alex Rebello

    Your reflection on Lent being a journey with Christ was simple yet so profound. He walks with us and when we stumble and fall, he is always there to pick us up.

  4. “The work you have begun so well, complete it!”
    —Letter to Ermentrude of Bruges

    Stop and think of yourself in Clare’s place. It’s difficult, isn’t it? That’s because we are all called to serve Christ in different ways. Clare’s way is not your way, nor is it anyone else’s. What we must do, however, is to seek and pray about our calling to bring God’s message to others. St. Clare can serve as an inspiration, but it is up to each of us to chart our own paths.

    For me it is very difficult to “desire & possess “poverty….St. Clare is a beautiful soul to do so! However; if I do not stop to think of this and just act on the work God has placed in my life , using the talents He gifted to me(which sometimes I have a hard time seeing or labeling) then I can be enriched by this life and the mission that is His ,which He is calling me towards. Just 1 step at a time, 1 day at a time, 1 puzzle piece at a time, that is the only way I can make sense of the “crosses’ in this life,in my life. However; at the end of my life perhaps all the pieces will be in my hands tp present to our Lord and He will assemble them saying the works are a thing of beauty and will offer a welcoming embrace demonstrating He is the God of true Love.

    Then all will be understood: Love is what God does because God is love.

    Those who “desire and possess” poverty, Clare indicates, live in the embrace of God’s love. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart full of Love.

  5. All these teachings that come to us are sources of inspiration to keep us closer to our God in our own ways. This transforming moment and renewal of heart and mind are crucial.
    Since my lifetime I have never received any teachings or inspiration as I am getting this time. Hopefully I am receiving a key to open doors in order to get closer to my Creator.
    To God be the glory.

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