“May you go forward securely, joyfully, and swiftly, on the path of prudent happiness.”
—Second Letter to Agnes of Prague
When Clare left her home to join Francis and his brothers, her family immediately sought to bring her back, even using force to try to do so. But Clare held tight to both the altar and her conviction as they tried to drag her away. She knew that this was the life she wished to lead and was willing to resist any attempts to prevent it. This was the path that would bring her happiness.
Clare’s actions should make us think: What in our own lives are we willing to hold fast to, even when it is difficult, or we face challenges in doing so?
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
The brothers were no longer limited to Assisi as a field of action. In fact, they were traveling to many cities to offer the good news that had drawn them away from the follies of avarice and armed vendettas. As their message transfixed crowds in town after town, numbers of young men sought to join them. Women were no less inspired. For some women, the choice of a life dedicated to works of mercy and prayer in small households was already a possibility.
Such households existed in many towns and were made up of widows and other women dedicated to chastity or virginity. Such households might enjoy the patronage of powerful families or of a commune as a whole. This patronage would be gladly offered in exchange for the social help for the sick, pilgrims, or beggars provided by these dedicated ladies.
How such women acquired and maintained their knowledge of the Gospels, of church teachings, would depend upon local bishops or monasteries. As the friars exerted their evangelical influence wherever they went, women, especially those already seeking an authentic life of Christian discipline, became part of the growing movement. The “new springtime” of reform and revitalization that Francis inspired needed to give these women a place. —from Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
May your determination in the face of extreme challenges
serve as a shining example for us to remain strong
in our convictions, even when we encounter resistance.
6 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Fifth Thursday”
my husband fell xmas eve & suffered a life-threatening break on his leg & dislocated his arm from his shoulder – all on his dominant side – we were in the hospital for 3 weeks & then in Rehab hospital for another 3 weeks. we were given health care providers that were the best & could not have been given better care – all by the Grace of God. He still is in a wheelchair & his arm suffered some paralysis but it is all getting better each day as we go to Rehab therapy 3 times a week & next week he can start the long process of putting weight on his leg & start to learn how to walk all over again. We know we are much better off than so many we saw in the Rehab Hospital – please do prayers for us & all the others & families who are working on recovery from unfortunate accidents.
Almagiving is shareing of oneself with others. We can do that directly -face to face or indirectly eg praying for someone or even praying for the suffering souls. Yes.
Jesus was Saint Clara’s closet friend.
Yes…you did it for me….reminds me of Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do work at it from the heart, as if for the Lord and not for others….this is not word for word from Colossians 3:23 because I had to take the short version to write on the back of my work badges and on the size of a credit for keeping with me as a motivator that no matter what type of work God sends my way or how I am treated while doing it I am doing it for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I always felt that way; but I was blessed in a lenten program about 6 yrs ago to have another participant share the passage and idea to keep it on the reverse side of a work badge. It made the biggest difference in my life!
Now I am not “working” or employed secularly, but I still volunteer to do Gods work willingly. It isn’t the same as before because I can’t really leave the home…but if you open yourself up to hearing the call then God will bring the work to you. I imagine that must be how many of the sisters, widows, those women who dedicated their lives to chastity and virginity ,who made public vows in their personal lives felt back then. It must be why St. Clare’s order and St. Francis order were so appealing. Both Men and Women want to experience a fulfilling life and helping tend to others or even the “lesser” work that prominent citizens didn’t desire to do helped them to be serve God. After all our King didn’t come to be served ,he came to serve others.He gave His life to all and many want to give all their life back to Him.
In my case I was able to help in little ways when my neighbor had cancer. Put away the groceries she ordered, make her some smoothies when she was too weak to do it herself, keep her spirits up in conversation. Later when she passed away and her children just couldn’t go through all her belongings, I was able to step up to help sort through items,call charities to make donations, and ask my husband to help bring items to recycle or resale. We are having a Mass said for her with the profits of the sale of records/cd’s. That is not something I could have done if I was still working, nor something I needed to search out. God called me to help where I am. He also calls me to a very active prayer life now . Praying without ceasing for certain friends or acquaintances ,especially at the hour of Divine Mercy 3am….if I were working secularly ,I couldn’t do the important work of praying for the dying or suffering at that time of day. God has me working 3rd shift to do His Will. He brings me the next task, the next “Holy Moment” ,right to my door or over the phone or in an email etc. All God needs is for us to be available to HIM; He doesn’t call the qualified but will qualify those He calls. He gives lots of on the job training and the benefits are out of this world quite literally. Eternal Life and the Kingdom of God at Hand , and Heaven…..what secular company can promise that? I think the women seeking out an order like St. Clares of Assisi and those dedicated in prayer in small households knew that and it truly inspired them!
As for St. Clare it was a blessing for all of us that she was a woman of Conviction ,with such determination, that no one could dissuade her from seeking out the life God planted her to desire in her heart. Her convictions did cause her to be to strict with herself and thus lose her life here a little to early, perhaps more benefit to those she wanted to care for and leave a legacy for would have come if she was taking care of herself a bit better. But nonetheless she achieved a state of grace and sainthood and forged a brave new world for women and the world is a better place because of St. Clare of Assisi!
Diane, you and your husband have my prayers for complete recovery. And yes, i ask the Great Healer with the intercession of our Blessed Mother, St Clare and all the saints and angels to help those in need of healing of mind, body or soul. May God bless you and continue to hold you in His loving arms.
Diane , prayers go up for you and your husband! May both of you also share in the peace of Christs love!