Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Clare: Fourth Thursday

Cross laid on palms

“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


St. Clare,
Help us embrace and express the love
that is the solid and simple foundation
of our relationship with the Lord.

Lent with St. Clare

4 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Fourth Thursday”

  1. This brings to mind Tielhard’s Cosmic Christ.

    “Compassion is the acting out of our interdependence”
    If we naturally take care of our own body, our own independent being (Greg) then, once we know deep inside that we are all part of one being, we care for the whole as much as we care for our own individual self.

    Then we have “an attitude of not taking being for granted—ours or others”
    Once we understand, and truly believe in our heart and soul, that we are basically good, it becomes a natural and easy leap to not take “being” for granted, our own self and the whole. God made it good…. He made it very good, and this becomes our reality in every move we make.

    Taken together, love of interbeing through the belief that we are basically good, made in God’s image, we find the Kingdom of God. We find our true Self. We love the other like we love ourself because the other is ourself. Then, in loving the whole we find out the whole is God and so we love God with our whole heart, mind and soul.

  2. May the Lord always be with you and may you always be with Him.”
    —The Testament of St. Clare

    Lovely testament and blessing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Our Daily Newsletter​

Includes Saint of the Day, Minute Meditations, and Pause + Pray.