“Blessed be you, my God, for having created me.”
It has been said that St. Clare of Assisi spoke these words just before her death. It is a simple prayer of thanksgiving, yet it speaks to the power of God’s vision for us. Each of us has been created for a different purpose. Clare’s path was different from each of ours, yet in many ways it is the same. We’re all blessed to have been created. What will we do with that blessing? We know what St. Clare did with hers; now it is up to us to discern where our blessing is leading us.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
While Clare’s path entails a truthful relationship with God, it also involves our truthful relationships with our neighbors; it takes place in the context of community. In this respect, gazing upon the mirror of the Crucified is not an exclusive human-divine relationship, that is, a vertical relationship with a transcendent God. Rather, the divine is enfleshed in the other—immanent—so that to follow Christ is to follow the one who follows Christ, and to see ourselves in the mirror of the Crucified is to see ourselves in the faces of our suffering sisters or brothers.
Clare’s path is essentially Pauline (1 Corinthians 11: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”) and she directs Agnes to the fullness of being through relationship with a God who is enfleshed in fragile humanity, that is, the humanity of community.16 For Clare, prayer without community cannot lead to the fullness of our self-identity, since it is in community that the mirror of our identity is reflected in the other, the neighbor whom we are called to love.
Love transforms because love unites, and it is in loving our neighbor through compassion that we become more ourselves, and in becoming more ourselves, we become Christ. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
St. Clare, may your prayer of thanksgiving
to God ignite a spark within each of us to
embrace and live out the blessing that
we are simply by our creation.