Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Clare: Fifth Wednesday

Cross with a purple ribbon

“Her life was an instruction and a lesson to others.”
—Papal Decree of Canonization

When we look back at the life of St. Clare, it’s easy for us to see how everything she did provides a lesson and example to us. She didn’t set out to be a model of faith. At the time, she was only living out what she saw as a call to serve God simply, humbly, and obediently. Knowing her actions would bring others closer to Christ would have brought her even more joy.

Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate

“Gaze daily upon the mirror of the cross,” Clare writes to Agnes. How is it possible that a suffering, crucified figure on a cross can be the object of our heart’s desire and the center of transformative love? Does this not defy every Western cultural claim to life, beauty, joy, and happiness?

Yet, Clare is not promoting superficial piety. In our contemporary jargon, she “gets it,” she understands the meaning of the cross. She does not understand the cross according to scientific, rational knowledge, as if she might have “figured out” the cross or solved its mystery like a puzzle.

Rather, she understands it with her heart. Gazing upon the cross leads to that penetrating insight where the mind discovers its limits and yields to the heart. Knowledge may take us to the threshold of God but love enters into the mystery. Clare, like many of the saints, understood the power of God in the midst of weak humanity. She, like other saints, realized that only God can bring forth life from death.

As Paul states, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). Clare’s insight into the power of God in the midst of suffering and death turns her heart toward Christ crucified in whom she sees the promise of life:

O holy poverty,
God promises the kingdom of heaven. . .
to those who possess and desire you.
–from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love


St. Clare,
We thank you for all that you have taught us
through your life and utter devotion to Christ.
May those lessons embolden our faith.

Lent with St. Clare

11 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Fifth Wednesday”

  1. The challenge we have is that if G-d does not smile on us what do we do. I say reinforce your hope in G-d.
    G-d Bless.

  2. Virginia Spiegel

    I am visiting a dear friend who is living with liver cancer.she is resting peacefully. May Clare intercede for SisterChristopher this day.

  3. Clara also focused on the enormous joy and love of Jesus.

    Jesus’ heart was filled with enormous love on the cross.

    It is beyond human comprehension to realize the enormous love that Jesus expressed for Father God and for us on the cross.

  4. My prayer today is that we recognize when we are being called by our Lord and Savior and respond obediently according to t unique declaration He provides for each one of us!

    St. Clare’s call may have been unique , designed for her life and times however; the Lord will use a similar method to call each of His children in a way befitting to the path each of us should undertake in life. May we say YES! to Him when He speaks to our hearts!

  5. Pedro Ignacio Soto G.

    Únicamente la fe en Dios es la que nos acompaña en el trasegar de la vida y sus penas y nos permite salir adelante en todo lo que nos acontezca.

  6. The Crucifix of San Damiano shows the risen Christ. He is not in agony but has arms stretched out to invite us to continue his work on earth. This is the cross that Clare carried with her when the sisters moved from San Damiano to the convent prepared for them. The original is now in a chapel in St. Clare Cathedral. A copy is in San Damiano.

  7. I can not
    Imagine the enormous love Jesus has for us . I just know he loves us very much and i love Jesus and i believe he is my savior.

  8. We must live our life in our own way like Jesus. What ever the day brings us we must embrace, and each time it’s painful we are holding Him in our arms, and without a single word said, we saying I love you Jesus…

  9. Constance Noble

    Jesus Christ our Shepherd so loved his sheep (us) that He gave His life for them so that they would have eternal life. Never give up my sisters and brothers. Stay steadfast in prayer and belief in the Divine Trinity. Do not let your love and faith in God the Father be shaken by today’s world of evilness. Our Heavenly Father will always reign and welcome us to Eternity along with the angels and saints. Do not let the evil one pull you away from our Beloved Three in One…the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Trust always in the Lord. Amen!

  10. fellow followers of St. Clare p lease pray for me. I have been suffering from obsessive thoughts of a person for many yrs. lately it is invading my dreams(nightmares) . I awake in the middle of the night and am unable to go back to sleep. Last yr during lent I was able to feel that my prayers were answered in this regard; but the thoughts never really left me. St. Terese the Little Flower has been helping for over 40 yrs. She and the Lord guided me and my late husband thru 48 yr of marriage. The day I met my husband the Lord spoke to me out loud: “This IS the man that you are going to marry”. That was my calling. These days I continue my journey with my 2 adult children & my one dear grandchild who is also now an adult(19). God has been very good to us. Thank you for your prayers—I will pray for all of you in return. May the Lord Bless you Mightily !!! Amen —Cathy

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