“May the Lord always be with you and may you always be with Him.”
—The Testament of St. Clare
Have you ever noticed a tendency to make the most basic things more difficult than they need to be? We often do that with our faith and our prayer lives. This quote from St. Clare’s Testament is a perfect reminder that the very foundation of our relationship with Christ is to walk with him as our companion. It really is that simple. St. Clare understood this and expressed it in everything she did.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
We see in the life of Francis and Clare that the Body of Christ is a flesh and blood reality. “Christ has no body now but yours,” Teresa of Avila wrote, “no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which must look out Christ’s compassion on the world.” While Clare desires that we “[bring] Christ to life for the life of the world,” she also calls us to participate in the life of the church.
It is amazing that a woman living an enclosed life under ecclesiastical restrictions could express such an active participation in the church. Clare realized that when one is inflamed, like Christ crucified, with the fervor of charity, then one is willing to offer one’s life for the sake of the gospel, and this self-offering is the food of life which nourishes the growth of the church.
Clare’s spiritual path calls for active love and only one who has entered into union with the crucified Spouse can become like the Spouse, crucified in love. The church, in Clare’s view, lives and grows when its members are active lovers not passive listeners. There is no greater joy or riches that money can buy nor can the church have any greater power than the living witness of Christ. For Clare, Christian life is the life of Christ and when that life is renewed through prayer and a deepening of love in union with God, the church becomes more fully the Body of Christ.
This Body is life for the world and we are invited into this sacred banquet of life. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
Help us embrace and express the love
that is the solid and simple foundation
of our relationship with the Lord.