I’ve been sitting for quite a while now, trying to find words that will bring alive the saint whose feast we celebrate today. It it Clare of Assisi, who entered into the religious life as a teenager and who, once installed in the Church of San Damiano in Assisi, never left the convent walls. Her teacher and spiritual father was Francis and her life was a following of his in simplicity, poverty and total dedication to the love of God, lived out in love of all creatures, especially her Sisters in community.
I marvel at how easy it is to be dedicated to the memory of someone who lived over 800 years ago, especially because one could read the stories of Clare’s life and, while noting a few extraordinary events, be aware of the dailiness of most of her time. I can only conclude that it is her all-consuming desire for God that captivates us and draws us in to her story. Here is what I know from http://www.franciscanmedia.com this morning.
Saint Clare referred to herself as a little plant. In many ways, she was a strong oak. The first woman to write a Rule of Life for her sisters, she insisted on the privilege of poverty until her dying breath, getting papal approval for her Rule just days before she died. A model of humility, Clare cared for her sisters even through her own years of illness. Her devotion to Jesus was extraordinary.
What I know from my heart is what can never be taught but only caught: God loves us more than we can ever ask or imagine, and the fire of that love is, if we allow it to be, all consuming. It was so for Clare.