“Truly in a field of faith, this woman planted and cultivated a vineyard of poverty, from which abundant and rich fruits of salvation have been gathered.” —Bull of Canonization
As spring arrives and the earth begins to once again wake up, we become aware of the resiliency and beauty of nature. St. Clare often referred to herself as the “little plant of St. Francis,” a fitting description of the impact she would have on the Church. From within the convent of San Damiano, Clare established a community of sisters that flourished and spread far and wide and has continued to do so even to this day. There is great beauty in that.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
We might say that love transformed the body of Clare and the body of Francis into crucified bodies in the same way that love transformed Jesus into the living Christ. As Celano writes, the love that ultimately forged Francis into Christ was…
[T]he spring of radiant love
that filled his heart within
[and] gushed forth.
This same love, I believe, was also in the heart of Clare. It is through the power of love that Francis and Clare, transformed in Christ, became other Christs for others to see and follow. The power of love is the Spirit, for it is the Spirit sent by Christ who conforms us to Christ, not by erasing our identity but rather by shaping the persons we are into the vessels of love we are created to be. The Spirit sets us free in love to be for love because the Spirit leads us to the truth of who we are in God in whom we find our freedom.
Anything that does not lead to true freedom must be rejected as untrue. Thus, the gospel is a constant call to freedom, an invitation to shape our own lives rather than allow ourselves to be influenced by an imaginary world order or to have any code simply thrust upon us. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
St. Clare, in your spirit, may we plant
the seeds of faith in our own lives
in the hope that the beauty of its
growth will inspire others.