Saint Clare was no stranger to suffering.
Throughout her life she endured pain and illness and often was bedridden.
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.
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.
- 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.”