“Clare was a vessel of humility, a shrine of chastity, a flame of love, the essence of kindness, the strength of patience, the bond of peace, and the source of loving unity in her community.” —Document of Canonization
St. Clare of Assisi probably would have been uncomfortable hearing such accolades. Clare wanted only to follow and serve Christ. She chose to do so in a quiet and humble way, along with her sisters. It was not the way of others, including Francis and his brothers, but it was her way. The fact that all these years later, we still recognize her as a model for how to determinedly live out one’s faith would probably have been puzzling to her. She shows us that, no matter how we choose to live out our faith, we must do so with all our heart and soul.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
Many a modern reader will find it difficult—if not impossible—to imagine living under such restrictions of the early Poor Clares. That said, it is important to take Clare at her word here as in other matters. Nowhere does she register objection to having enclosure or cloister observed at San Damiano. What is clear is that she described its obligations in her own style and made prudent allowances for common sense and necessity. That unique voice would not remain confined to her monastery.
Other women asked for her guidance and sought formal identification with San Damiano. Not mistaking the papal Order of San Damiano for the original Franciscan sisterhood of Clare, these women formed a small circle of adherence to poverty and room for the accompaniment of the friars. The circle, however, was destined to be enlarged and empowered by the emergence of one of the most remarkable of Clare’s soul sisters, Agnes of Prague. —from Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
May you continue to inspire us,
through your example and inspiration,
to live out our faith in the way we are being called.