“Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal.”
—Letter to Ermentrude of Bruges
One of the mistakes most of us make is to think that we always have enough time. We put off things we should do, promising to get to them later. What we don’t think about, though, is the possibility that there might not be a later. St. Clare died at fifty-nine, a rather young age compared to what we’ve come to expect today. But look at how determined she was in her calling and everything she accomplished during those years! With that in mind, we should ask ourselves what we are doing with our time to help build up the kingdom of God.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
In a category by itself is the account in the fifteenth chapter of the Fioretti. It describes a shared meal that Francis arranged for Clare at the Portiuncula. The narrative portrays him as eager to allow such a reunion in the place where she first entered into their company. She and her companion arrive and their conversation centers on the gifts of grace which both have received.
The ardor of this exchange is so intense that the villagers nearby believe they see flames enveloping the small church. They rush to save the place only to find Francis, Clare, and companions fully caught up in this divine discourse and aflame with God’s love.
Since this account comes from a set of stories written long after both were dead, it is often treated as a mere folktale. Yet, its telling indicates that years after they lived, this spirit of a profound mutual delight in God’s gifts was fondly remembered. It was the heart of a friendship of grace. It was a story worth saving. —from Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
May your life serve
as a guide for us as we seek
ways to contribute to the building
up of the kingdom of heaven.