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
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.