Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Clare: Ash Wednesday

Woman with ashes on her melon | Lent with St. Clare

Today is the start of our Lenten journey. On our foreheads we wear ashes, a sign that we are made of dust and to dust we shall return. Such an outward sign conveys a message that words do not. When St. Clare of Assisi left her home under cover of night, she had Francis cut off her long hair, signaling her departure from her previous life and entrance into her new one. We are now entering a new season of our faith.

Clare will be our guide through her words and actions.

Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate

Although Clare’s spirituality is radically incarnational, one cannot deny the role of the Spirit in her thought. The Trinitarian patterns woven throughout her writings lead from the Father to the Son to the Spirit who is sent by Christ and conforms the human person to Christ.

Her movement into God is powered by the Spirit of love. It is a movement that is dynamic, forward in direction, light and swift, indicating that life in God is not to be deterred by earthly matters. Highlighting the role of the Spirit in Clare’s letters allows us a glimpse into the strength of her own life which, as we have briefly seen, was a series of struggles. The Spirit, however, gave her power within. It imbued her life with joy and freedom which can only come to one who lives deeply in God. We would do well to look at the role of the Spirit in Clare’s thought and reflect on the relationship between the Spirit and Christ.

Looking at the relationship between the Spirit and Christ allows us to come to new insight with regard to the work of the Spirit in our lives. We find a new way of thinking about the Spirit in relation to Christ, and we explore the role of the Spirit in view of the communion of saints and the Body of Christ. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love

lent with saint clare


St. Clare,
As we receive
the ashes on our foreheads
and go about our day,
may your story remind us to live
our faith for all to see.


23 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Ash Wednesday”

  1. This year what if we treated Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season like it could be our last one?
    What could we do differently to create a more meaningful Lent?
    Pray, Fast, and Give of self as a form of Almsgiving may allow for a better relationship with God and help to reconcile with God some sins while answering prayers for the state of the world or someone in real need this year.
    St. Clare intercede for us and teach us your ways to walk humbly with God. Amen.

    1. Linda – I was looking for a meaningful way to approach this Lenten season and you have provided the answer. I, for one, accept your loving call to fully embrace this time of fasting, prayer and giving with a renewed spirit of joyful hope. Thank you for sharing. You name and dearest intentions will be included in my daily prays. Continued blessings – one day at a time.

    2. I want so very much that I his Lent to be one of all Lent(s) that I didn’t do well at all.. meaning my observances, actions hadn’t been and weren’t that good as intended. So each year year after year, I pray and plea for God s grace. So help me God.

  2. This may well be my last Ash Wednesday, my last Lent, and I want desperately to make it meaningful. Please pray for me.

    1. Hail, Mary, full of grace,
      the Lord is with thee.
      Blessed art thou amongst women
      and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
      Holy Mary, Mother of God,
      pray for us sinners,
      now and at the hour of our death.

    2. Prayers Go up for you Janet! I have a friend who is experiencing similar uncertainty. Both of you are on my prayers list!
      Please keep the community posted if you need more specific prayers this lent, we are here for one another.????????✝

  3. John Leonard Burke MRE MPH

    Lent is a time to prepare for a new life. A transformative change is to happen in a short time. How will I participate in this Creation of the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit Love? John


  4. I have never been a good “faster.” But I am going to seriously give the Friday fast a real try. Thank you for these lovely thoughts.

    1. Our Pastor suggested to make fasting truly a valuable lenten sacrifice that we also feast to compliment it.
      Fasting was also encouraged for activities as well as food. If we are fasting from our favorite food then we feast by donating the money we saved to charity. If we fast from a television program that is secular then we feast by viewing some Catholic videos. If we fast from gossiping about others, then feast by evangelizing our faith.
      May you be inspired by God in your Fasting and feasting this Lent!

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