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Franciscan Spirit Blog

Novena to Saint Clare | Day Two: Strength in Suffering

Aug 3, 2022
Stained glass window of Saint Clare of Assisi and the Eucharist
Saint Clare was no stranger to suffering.
Throughout her life she endured pain and illness and often was bedridden.

Prayer

Merciful God, when our lives present us with challenges,
it can be easy to feel as if you have left our side.
Yet we desire our connection to you to remain strong.
Help us, as you did with Abbess Clare,
to remember that we are never far away from Christ’s love and protection.
You, Lord, are with us always.
Amen.


Reflection

At some point in our lives, we will all experience some form of suffering. Whether it is physical or emotional in nature, it is painful and difficult. Saint Clare was no stranger to suffering. Throughout her life she endured pain and illness and often was bedridden. She did not, however, allow it to distance her from Christ.

Even then, Clare held on to her promise of simplicity. Her bed was a straw mat, her pillow a layer of straw. Only when Francis instructed the sisters to give Clare a bale of hay for a pillow did she accept it. She did not allow her suffering to distract her from her commitment to Christ. In fact, she saw it as a connection with the crucified Lord.

In the midst of suffering is when it can be the hardest to feel as if God is with us. It is at those times that we must turn to Christ, as Saint Clare did, and remember that even in our darkest moments, Christ is there.


Consider this...

  • What suffering have you endured? How did you overcome it? How did prayer help you weather that storm? Think about that experience and how God was with you.
  • What would you say to someone who is going through a trying time? How would you help that person rise above their sorrow?
  • When is a time when you felt distant from God? What did you do? Even the saints falter on their faith journeys. But they know God is waiting for them.

In Clare’s Own Words

“Love that does not know of suffering is not worthy of the name.”


Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare


Comments

Phil Zepeda Voting for Clare to be elevated to "Doctor of the Church"
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:21 AM
Phil Zepeda Voting for Clare to be elevated to "Doctor of the Church"
"Non poca pianta ma possente quercia..."
Sr. Leonidah FMSA
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 01:43 PM
Sr. Leonidah FMSA
Thank you for sharing this inspiring and touching reflection on St. Clare. St. Clare pray for us to be able accept our daily suffering and crosses as you did.
Ceci
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:29 AM
Ceci
I find strength in God in my time of most need, when I’m feeling lonely and not appreciated. Prayer brings me to a place of peace, peace with God and grateful for all his blessings🙏
Cheryl
Fri, 08/05/2022 - 08:00 AM
Cheryl
I had to learn the hard way to find strength in God in a time of great need and suffering. I ruptured my Achilles tendon earlier this year and had to have surgery. At one point, I was so depressed that the thought of suicide crossed my mind. God lifted me out of this depression, though, and I learned that my "achilles tendon" was actually my tendency to do everything on my own and not lean on God or seek Him first. I now start every day with prayer and devotionals and give God the first fruits of my day!
Patricia
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 01:13 AM
Patricia
Gratitude for union with the Lord seems to be St. Clare's way. Gratitude brings Joy and "joy is the indefatigueable sign of God." Would that I could remember that at every moment of this life journey.
Sal
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 01:24 AM
Sal
St Clare help us come closer to our Lord Jesus. Help me too release the pain and heal my inner child. St Clare pray for Us
Mary Anne Gervais
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 04:24 AM
Mary Anne Gervais
As William Blake wrote: Joy and woe are woven fine A clothing for the soul divine Under every grief and pain Runs a joy with silken twine It is right it should be so Man was made for joy and woe. 1863
kelly mccracken
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 08:14 AM
kelly mccracken
Beautiful - thanks for sharing!
Paul kwame Anaman
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 06:43 AM
Paul kwame Anaman
The moment has come for us to be transformed through the teaching and inspirational word's of St Clare.
Clare
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 08:17 AM
Clare
St Clare pray for us
Godwin Haruna
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 08:36 AM
Godwin Haruna
To God be the glory for the example of St. Clare. Her endurance and choice of suffering reinforce our strength and hope in the face of today's troubled world.
Rosa
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 09:19 AM
Rosa
St Clare pray for me and my family
Estella
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 09:20 AM
Estella
Thank you all for sharing all these beautiful words of encouragement.
rwl
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 10:12 AM
rwl
All the Saints that I have read about all suffered. They all remind me of Job . How real he was in enduring his suffering even though G-d inflicted it on him to show the evil one just how loyal Job was. By Job endure and accepted his pain and acknowledged that he was a sinner. However I believe by enduring embracing , understanding our pain we can then offer it up on behalf of others ,just as our Saints did. Just as our Lord did. G-d Bless.
Emcee
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:38 AM
Emcee
Went through ten years of a physically abusive marriage, a young immigrant with no family nearby. The Blessed Mother comforted me. I kept praying and by the Grace of God I did not loose my my faith. But there were periods in my life where I was more of a cafeteria Catholic. Now, at 85 I suffer physical pains and walk with difficulty. Current pains are nothing compared to what I went through in a bad marriage ( eventually terminated and annulled by the church). God is merciful.
Anna
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:26 PM
Anna
Thank you for sharing. I needed to read this. God is Merciful & Good! I too suffered for many years in abusive marriage. Eventually by Grace of God, Our Lady, and Saints like Clare whom I’ve clung to, and like you, did not lose Faith, that God brought me up out of that. Still One Day @ a Time🙏🏻I was just crying due to PTSD and had a trigger tonight. Flashbacks are still tormenting, yet, I know I can Atone and Change by the Grace of God! That was then…This is Now! I will pray for all of us, as I too have physical ailments & pain. Peace in troubled times…Amen.
Cathy
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 04:11 PM
Cathy
St. Clare, pray for our young women to choose Christ over the world and its temptations. Thank you.
Ana Gonzalez
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:04 PM
Ana Gonzalez
all the time in my sufferings I see God mercy, st. Clare play for us.
Jean
Thu, 08/04/2022 - 11:34 AM
Jean
My son was a alcoholic for twenty years. I prayed every day that he would become sober. He went into rehab at the Salvation Army. One day I said to him, I am very happy that you put yourselves in rehab. He replied “I didn’t put myself in rehab, God did,” His alcoholism was very painful but God cured him. He had been sober for 12 years.
Jim Kelly
Thu, 08/04/2022 - 04:15 PM
Jim Kelly
This is the first time I have seen this prayer section. I am 83 years old and was diagnosed with with ALS about eight months ago. I have lost most use of my arms and am now losing more use of my hands. I pray to Saint Clare to help me thorough this.
MariAnn Hannon, OFS
Sat, 08/06/2022 - 09:42 PM
MariAnn Hannon, OFS
Dear Mr. Kelly. May St. Clare with our Blessed Mother take your petitions to our merciful Lord. May I also suggest you call on Bl. Solanus Casey to help? I will be praying for your peace, comfort, and healing.
JosyMary
Thu, 08/04/2022 - 04:36 PM
JosyMary
Thanks for sharing such a wonderful inspiration, and a reminder to us that suffering is not a cures nor a punishment but rather a blessing that we share with our Lord Jesus. St. Clare pray for us and mostly my niece Clare that she may be inspired by St. Clare

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