“May the love you have in your hearts be shown outwardly in your deeds.”
—The Testament of St. Clare
Love was at the heart of everything St. Clare did. Her love for Christ was her purpose. Her love for St. Francis was her compass. And her love for her sisters sustained her. Throughout her entire life, from the days before she left her family home until the day of her death, Clare was driven by her desire to demonstrate her love for others. Even when she was sick and bedridden, she expressed her love in small ways, such as sewing altar cloths for surrounding churches.
For her, every action was an opportunity to be an expression of God’s love.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
The genius of the saints is that they are not complacent or lulled by mediocrity. Rarely do the saints settle for anything less than the ultimate: union with God. Clare is no exception. Her strong personality shines through her letters with an inner conviction. She strives not only for union with God but for transformation. At least that is what she writes to Agnes:
And transform your entire being into the image
of the Godhead Itself through contemplation.
She could have been less ambitious and tell Agnes something like “strive to enjoy each day” or “strive to show an act of kindness to those you meet.” But Clare aims for the personal, direct, ultimate goal—transformation—which can only take place through contemplation. Unless we can “see ourselves” in God and God in us and in our neighbors, we really cannot dwell in the love of God which is the heart of contemplation. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
When we are weary and either don’t have the energy
to care for others or are too distracted to do so,
help us remember that displaying our love for others
is the best way to reflect Christ’s love.