“Truly in a field of faith, this woman planted and cultivated a vineyard of poverty, from which abundant and rich fruits of salvation have been gathered.” —Bull of Canonization
As spring arrives and the earth begins to once again wake up, we become aware of the resiliency and beauty of nature. St. Clare often referred to herself as the “little plant of St. Francis,” a fitting description of the impact she would have on the Church. From within the convent of San Damiano, Clare established a community of sisters that flourished and spread far and wide and has continued to do so even to this day. There is great beauty in that.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
We might say that love transformed the body of Clare and the body of Francis into crucified bodies in the same way that love transformed Jesus into the living Christ. As Celano writes, the love that ultimately forged Francis into Christ was…
[T]he spring of radiant love
that filled his heart within
[and] gushed forth.
This same love, I believe, was also in the heart of Clare. It is through the power of love that Francis and Clare, transformed in Christ, became other Christs for others to see and follow. The power of love is the Spirit, for it is the Spirit sent by Christ who conforms us to Christ, not by erasing our identity but rather by shaping the persons we are into the vessels of love we are created to be. The Spirit sets us free in love to be for love because the Spirit leads us to the truth of who we are in God in whom we find our freedom.
Anything that does not lead to true freedom must be rejected as untrue. Thus, the gospel is a constant call to freedom, an invitation to shape our own lives rather than allow ourselves to be influenced by an imaginary world order or to have any code simply thrust upon us. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
St. Clare, in your spirit, may we plant
the seeds of faith in our own lives
in the hope that the beauty of its
growth will inspire others.
5 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Third Saturday”
The Franciscan who speaks today is so very soft spoken it makes you relax and listen with an open heart. I wish he was nearby, I would love to have him as my Spiritual Director which I need badly.
As far as the lesson or advice he shares really touches me and makes me understand me a little better.
May God bless him and all of your priests no and forever. Teresita
True very true 🙏 Temptations motivates for help from God to overcome these temptations thereafter 🙏
“the Spirit leads us to the truth of who we are in God in whom we find our freedom.
Anything that does not lead to true freedom must be rejected as untrue. Thus, the gospel is a constant call to freedom, an invitation to shape our own lives rather than allow ourselves to be influenced by an imaginary world order or to have any code simply thrust upon us.”
How lovely. I think of “freedom from the Spirit” as the journey to find Merton’s true Self. This is the contemplative journey, but really all of our journeys if we take it.
As for the loss of freedom due to “an imaginary world” or a “code thrust upon us”, I ponder and pray a lot about how much of this loss of freedom comes from our own institutional church structures. So much anxiety and anger about rules being broken. The very organization and structure is, in may ways, a punitive justice network designed to force us into doing the right thing.
If we are to find the true Self, it will be through acceptance and love for ourselves, our whole selves, the good and the bad. We know in our hearts what the truth is and will find it and follow it willingly if given the empathetic space to do so. We are made in God’s image after all. Punitive means, while fast and effective, do not change the heart. Punitive justice drive good behavior, but from a standpoint of shame, and the fruit of shame and guilt is anxiety, anger, fear, etc. It is a beautiful shell with a rotten core. Our hearts need to be truly free to act out love from a loving core.
A beautiful image comes to mind for me after reading …..The Master Potter being allowed to shape His vessels of creation,simply because we have the freedom to say yes to Him and allow Him to complete the work He began in our mother’s womb. =)
Just a happy thought for this day. God Bless those who read and share here!