The Hidden Tereasure
treasure hunts, secret treasure, buried treasure.
Think of the amazement of that man over his discovery, the joy
that fired him as he went about selling ALL he had to purchase THAT
field, the dreams of debts paid, possessions purchased, future security
discovering a temporal treasure sets one to such total commitment of
assets to insure its possession -- how much more should one commit to
finding and possessing the eternal treasure?
St. Clare of
what IS the incomparable
treasure so precious that nothing less than humility, faith and
spiritual poverty can take hold of it?
Scholars put forward a number of answers -- the life of most high
poverty, the perfection of the holy Gospel, the summit of contemplative
prayer. But St. Clare’s
phrasing, which combines allusions to the Gospel of St. John and the
Letter to the Hebrews, points
to a treasure that is not something but Someone, the Word
of God through whom all things
For Clare, JESUS is the Treasure
hidden in the field. He
is the Treasure hidden in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Holy Eucharist.
He is the Treasure hidden
at the center of God’s creative, redemptive and sanctifying plan for
the human family. Only those
armed with humility, the power of faith and
the strong arms of poverty can lay hold of this incomparable Treasure,
which is concealed from the proud and the powerful.
This hidden Treasure gives
meaning and direction to earthly life.
It is the ransom that pays the price of our sins, the Presence
that is our pledge of future glory.
But Jesus is not only the Treasure
hidden “out there” in the great field of the world.
He is the Treasure hidden deep
in the soul of the baptized. The
Lady Clare well knew that the same spiritual “weapons” are needed to
take hold of this priceless Treasure within -- humility, faith and
poverty. Aware that we carry this
Treasure in earthen vessels
(2 Cor. 4:7), she strove not only
to protect that Treasure but to draw from it in her daily life: The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good. (Matt.
St. Clare reminds us that the spiritual life is
a “treasure hunt” in which we seek nothing less than God Himself.
If Christ is the Treasure to be found, then we must seek Him
where He is -- in the field of the world, in the field of our own heart.
We need to equip ourselves with the tools that the Seraphic
Mother found so indispensable on her spiritual search: humility, faith
and spiritual poverty. We
have our Lord’s word that if we seek, we shall find. Our
lives will be enriched beyond all measure by this incomparable Treasure. Then
we shall understand why Jesus said:
your Treasure is, there will your heart be.
Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy