Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Clare: Fourth Sunday

Cross with a purple ribbon

“Let us pray to God for one another, for by carrying each other’s burden of charity in this way we will easily fulfill the law of Christ.” —Letter to Ermentrude of Bruges

When Clare saw Francis preaching in the town square, certainly she was aware of people’s reactions to him. It would have been difficult not to have heard about Pietro Bernardone’s son who had renounced his family and embraced poverty. But something about Francis and his words captured her spirit. In him, she saw not a rebel but a man whose heart had been captured by God. She longed to join him in his calling to serve others. Would we be willing to take such a leap of faith for our convictions?

Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate

Transformation in Christ is central to a eucharistic life for Clare, and the renewal of Christ in one’s life is the basis of the church which is the Body of Christ. In Clare’s view, the Body of Christ grows when its members are active lovers, not passive listeners. Church membership is not an affiliation but a participation in the life of Christ. Those who are strengthened by grace must help the weaker members of the body so that it may grow towards its fullness in God. Clare indicates that only one who is on the path to God, who contemplates God and is transformed in God is truly a member of the church.

Indeed, if one views her spiritual path from poverty to transformation one would have to say that the church is built on poverty, humility, and love. When we fail in poverty, we fail in love, and when we fail in love the Body of Christ is weakened, the church is diminished.

The return to poverty is at the heart of church renewal because it is a return to a eucharistic life, to the Eucharist as life and sacrament of God’s presence in the world. Although Clare did not use the language of Eucharist or sacrament in her writings, her spirituality is centered on the idea that when the Body of Christ becomes the body of the believer, the body of the believer becomes the life of the church. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love

lent with saint clare


St. Clare,
May we be open to the possibilities and challenges we may encounter.
Help us be as courageous as you were.


14 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Fourth Sunday”

  1. Wow. This message of pain and forgiveness is a meaningful, powerfully expressed prescription for healing.
    I would love to have a CD of this message to share with others who are struggling with pain and an unforgiving heart.

  2. Father, thank you for telling us about your sister’s death and your pain. I truly appreciate how you worked through the pain and were able to forgive. I always try to ponder, if God forgives us for all we do, time and time, again, we should work thru forgiving others. Thank you for this reflection.

  3. What a powerful testimony. To be able to forgive the murderer of your sister and have peace in your life is awesome. Many people could learn from you Father.

  4. Absolutely beautiful and powerful. Thank you so much for presenting this to us. I have shared it with those who are in great pain who have trouble letting it go. I especially like the message that the pain that isn’t transformed is transmitted. Merciful Lord, grant us the vision to see through our pain, to forgive, to love, to transform–as You did.

  5. I liked that quote “Any pain that is not transformed, is transmitted,” enough to write it down and add it to my scrapbook. I knew that when it comes to the subject of emotional pain, one has to come to terms with it. We are emotional animals, after all. What forgiveness has to the do with subject, I don’t know. I think they are two different subjects. One may forgive, and one may not. But yet, the emotional pain lingers on. Again, one must deal or “come to terms” with the acknowledgement that the emotional pain is even there! I have to wonder, does regret have something to do with the experience of emotional pain? Physical pain is something else, once again. Mature people are in tune with their emotions and know how to deal with them when they occur.

  6. And double WOW, the message was amazingly beautiful, meaningful and it touched me at the right time…it just made pain and forgiveness easier to understand and deal with. Thank you Lord for the words you gave this Franciscan to share with us…

  7. Copy the url, paste it into an email or text and you can send it that way.
    It is a wonderful message certainly worth sharing.

  8. Thankful for your message today. I’m going to pray for grace to transform all my pain and hurt to do God’s will for my life. ????❤️☮️

  9. I have less to forgive,but it still has taken decades…for me to forgive myself for feeling that way and for me to forgive the person who committed the act. One of the things that did help was for me to recognize what Jesus said on the Cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” I came across that thought long ago in my prayer life and meditations. However; that is where I seemed to get stuck and couldn’t progress any further forward. Even confessing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation did not help like it should. Hearing the message today did help ,especially realizing that even religious struggle with these big feelings and become stuck. And now each one of us has been given a roadmap to transform that pain. What a powerful gift this Lent!
    This is a good video to save on our You Tube accounts to access when we need it or to share with others.!

  10. The same God of Love that filled the heart of Jesus,

    Is the same God of Love that is in your heart.

    And One acquires such love within oneself by allowing the love of Jesus in your heart.

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