Clare recalled these new beginnings in later years. That she and her sisters had survived the painful trials of the foundation was not nearly as surprising to her as it was to Francis. “When the blessed Francis saw, however, that although we were physically weak and frail, we did not shirk deprivation, poverty, hard work, trial or the shame or contempt of the world—rather we considered them as great delights, as he had frequently examined us according to the example of the saints and his brothers—he greatly rejoiced in the Lord” (Testament, 27-29). Taking each word of this recollection on its merits, we must imagine that the early years of life in San Damiano were a continual struggle at levels material, social, and spiritual.
— from the book Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
by Margaret Carney, OSF