Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Clare: Fourth Friday

Cross in a bowl of ashes

“We are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.”
—St. Clare

This quote may sum up St. Clare more perfectly than anything else she said. She lived her life entirely in service to others—even before she joined St. Francis. Biographers tell us that her generosity was well known both around Assisi and while she was in exile in Perugia. Through her acts, Clare became the vessel in God’s hands.

Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate

When Clare entered San Damiano, she came into possession of the beautiful Byzantine cross before which Francis had prayed. Now it was her “book” of prayer, her silent reminder each day: “Take up your cross and follow me.” In that Face, she saw mirrored the love that would insist that one who lays down a life is the greatest of Friends and the model of all Christian friendship.

The story of redemption portrayed on the Cross helped her to anchor her soul in that mystery. One speaks of “reading” an icon. What did Clare read in that Cross? She found the images of those who accompanied Jesus to Calvary, the angels mourning the outrage they witness, the centurion piercing that beloved Heart with his lance. There, too, she would see the image of Christ ascending back to the heavenly firmament—his Father’s hand outstretched to welcome him after his quest to save humanity was completed.

Most of all, she would spend hours contemplating that Face. The expression is one of serene and salvific love. The body is not writhing in agony, but is glorified, having conquered death’s destructive force. In the annual Easter liturgies, she would hear the chanted refrain: “I have risen and am with you.” Through this Cross that beautiful melody was manifested every day of her life. —from Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare


St. Clare,
Inspire us to release ourselves
into the hands of God,
allowing him to use us as he sees fit.

lent with saint clare

8 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Fourth Friday”

  1. For me we are already vessel of G-d. Cause we are created by G-d. We are here to serve and honor G- d. I think we need to bring G- d home with us. Home is the place where we are true to ourselves as opposed to the public life we portray to others.
    Initially doing this is not easy. Their will be obstacles along the way. The journey will not turn out the way you want it to. Sometime it actually gets worse in my experience – you experience fear , resistance, confusion, or disappointment. Then comes the choice- give up or grow up. Remember the sower and the seeds. However once we are willing to grow up chances are high that we will succeed. We move from hearing the good news to darkness then to the light. Only through our OWN efforts will we have found G-d causing the darkness to shine .
    G-d Bless.

  2. What do I see when I “read” the cross, or the face of Jesus? ……Questions I never really thought until reading the contemplation section today. I will take time in mediation today to contemplate these thoughts as St. Clare has done .

  3. Crucifix or Cross?
    Both can lead us into the mystery of our salvation through Jesus.
    A cross shows us the victory of Christ over death.
    The crucifix honors Christ’s suffering to save us from sin.
    May we find ourselves in these symbols of our faith.

  4. Heavenly Father, you offer us abundant grace, mercy, and forgiveness through your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to live a grace-filled life as Mary did by believing in your promises and by giving you my unqualified ‘yes’ to your will and plan for our lives. Amen.

  5. Lord Jesus Christ, your Gospel brings joy and freedom. May we be loyal to you always, even though it produce a cross on earth, that we may share in your crown of victory for all eternity. Amen.

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