Minute Meditations

The Death of Francis

Clare’s bereavement could hardly be equaled since for her, as for her sisters, Francis was “after God, her only consolation.” Now she must face an abyss of solitude in the quest for Gospel perfection. Thomas of Celano etches an indelible image: “Once he was taken away, the door that never again will suffer such pain, was closed on them” (First Life of St. Francis, Part II, Chapter X, 27). Indeed, the door closed on an experience of shared charisms that would never be rivalled. The time of grief did not reduce Clare to a shadowy survivor of the “good old days.” Rather, the immediate fires of loss and increased episcopal pressure to abandon their original plan only fortified her determination to stay the course. She would be the “lampstand to enlighten all in the house” of Francis. If the first half of her life had been spent in constructing the path with him, the second would be spent insisting on its trustworthiness as the penitent pilgrim’s road. She will live to enflesh the prophetic declaration: I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, and keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint. Then the Lord answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays wait for it, it will surely come, and it will not be late. (Habakkuk 2:1-3)

— from the book Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare

by Margaret Carney, OSF


Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare Minute Meditations

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