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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Musings on St. Clare

Many movies, books, icons, and other works of art over the centuries have depicted St. Clare as a gentlewoman who saw Christ in St. Francis, left a comfortable life, and followed the way of the Cross.

St. Clare reminds us of simpler, more pure times, despite the wars between the city-states, wars of pride and commerce, which blotted the landscape of her time.

Yet, the days were simpler, and choices, perhaps, easier to make, for a young person who wanted to follow Jesus closely.

Born into comfort and the new wealth of Assisi, Clare wrote the first harsh rule for women, and possibly, the first rule for nuns ever written by a woman. Rome took time to approve the strict order, now known as the Poor Clares, and now, but not everywhere, but in many places, not in keeping with the spirit of Clare.

Although her times were less complicated, Clare had to run away from home and withstand her father's violent dissent of her choice of vocation.

Her sister also joned her eventually.

One hopes that St. Clare invokes the Holy Spirit today to call young women into the religious life of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

St. Clare died at 59 and was canonized a mere three years after her death, as the Popes of her day recognized her holiness immediately. Many miracles were attributed to her within a short time of her holy death.

People pray for vocations, but few actually encourage their girls to become nuns. Some parents thwart God's plans for their children. Every parent must be generous with God and give to Him the children He wants for His service.

Sadly, we have the story of Clare's more than difficult father. May parents not only pray for vocations, but form children who will accept the call of God to go into religious life.