Franciscan Spirit Blog

Quotes from St. Clare of Assisi

Saint Clare surrounded by her sisters

St. Clare of Assisi offers two extraordinarily important lessons. The first is obvious. It is the recognition of how important women—and this woman in particular—are to the Franciscan story. The second is more subtle. It is the lesson that Clare’s importance stems from the fact that she was the recipient of a powerful charism of her own—a gift bestowed by the Spirit of the Lord and given to her in a fullness and forcefulness that was hers alone.

That charism, matched with the equally full and forceful charism of Francis, created something akin to nuclear fission. It unleashed a mighty power of example and of hope for people who wanted to live the authentic Christian message.

Too often we suppose that our study and imitation of these great saints is a sure path to our own beatitude. Her story shows us that what matters is not the effort to “draw down” from the spiritual wealth of others whom we admire as though only a supplicant’s sharing of another’s gift can make us good. What she shows us is that we need only have the courage to unlock what is within us, to spend our days powered by the graced anointing that we already possess. —Margaret Carney, OSF, author of Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare.

Enjoy these holy words from St. Clare herself.

“We are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.”

“Love that does not know of suffering is not worthy of the name.”

“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.”

“Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world, which passes like a shadow.”

“Never forget that the way which leads to heaven is narrow; that the gate leading to life is narrow and low; that there are but few who find it and enter by it; and if there be some who go in and tread the narrow path for some time, there are but very few who persevere therein.”

“Love Him totally, who gave Himself totally for your love.”

“Totally love Him who gave Himself totally out of love for you.”

“Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal.”

“What you hold may you always hold. What you do, may you always do and never abandon.”

“Gaze upon the mirror each day, O Queen and Spouse of Jesus Christ, and continually study your face within it.”

“Let the love you have in your hearts be shown outwardly in your deeds.”

“Love God, serve God; everything is in that.”

“Therefore, let us be very careful that, if we have set out on the path of the Lord, we do not at any time turn away from it through our own fault and ignorance.”

“Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ, to cleave with all one’s heart to him whose beauty all the heavenly hosts behold forever, whose love inflames our love, the contemplation of whom is our refreshment, whose graciousness is our delight, whose gentleness fills us to overflowing, whose remembrance makes us glow with happiness, whose fragrance revives the dead, the glorious vision of whom will be the happiness of all the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem. For he is the brightness of eternal glory, the splendor of eternal light, the mirror without spot.”

“Therefore, beloved sisters, we must consider the immense gifts that God has bestowed on us.”

“Don’t be afraid. Trust in Jesus.”

“May the excitements of the world, fleeing like a shadow, not disturb you.”

“Blessed be you, my God, for having created me.”

“God will be your helper and best consoler.”

“Because the way and path is difficult and the gate through which one passes and enters to life is narrow, there are both few who walk it and enter through it.”

“May the love you have in your hearts be shown outwardly in your deeds.”

“O most noble Queen, gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him.”

“I admonish and exhort all my sisters, both those present and those to come, to strive always to imitate the way of holy simplicity, humility, and poverty.”

“Let us pray to God for one another, for by carrying each other’s burden of charity in this way we will easily fulfill the law of Christ.”

“And I beg you … to praise the Lord by your very life, to offer the Lord your reasonable service and your sacrifice always seasoned with salt.”

“I judge you to be a co-worker of God Himself and a support for the weak members of His ineffable Body.”

“The work you have begun so well, complete it!”

“May the Lord always be with you and may you always be with Him. We are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.” 

“Cling to His most sweet Mother who carried a Son whom the heavens could not contain; and yet she carried Him in the little enclosure of her holy womb and held Him on her virginal lap.”

“May you go forward securely, joyfully, and swiftly, on the path of prudent happiness.”

“Live and hope in the Lord, and let your service be according to reason.”

“May neither bitterness nor a cloud of sadness overwhelm you.”

“Let the tongue of the flesh be silent when I seek to express my love for you; and let the tongue of the Spirit speak.”

“Meditate continually on the mysteries of the cross.”

“Love God and Jesus, who was crucified for us, from the depth of your heart, and never let the thought of Him leave your mind.”

St. Clare Collection | Franciscan Media

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