The Lamb Without Spot
The Eucharistic tenor of St. Clare’s contemplative prayer
allows us to presume that she often lingered on the words which the
priest proclaims at every Mass before Holy Communion: Behold
the Lamb of God! Clare’s
faith in the Real Presence was so ardent that she wept as she came to
receive the immaculate Lamb in Communion for, as her biographer wrote, she feared Him no less hidden in the Sacrament than ruling heaven and
the Lamb of God! This
is the leit-motif of Clare’s Eucharistic adoration.
Hours of prayer before the Tabernacle attuned the Holy Mother to
the silent Presence of Jesus, the meek and humble Lamb -- the Lamb who
is both Victim and Victor. She
united the oblation of her life,
prayer, praise, supplication, intercession, weeping, offering and
sacrifice in union with the infinite “thanks” of the only-begotten
Son. (Bl. John Paul
St. Francis never saw a lamb at the market without recalling the
Scripture passage comparing God’s Suffering Servant to
lamb led to the slaughter who was silent and opened not his mouth.
Given St. Clare’s great devotion to the Passion, it is
likely that she too often meditated upon Jesus
as the silent Lamb, the Lamb without spot who takes away the sins of the world.
The Seraphic Mother put into action what she beheld in this Lamb
who redeemed the sheep: docility, silence, submission, surrender.
But as St. Clare drew near to death, another facet of this
Christ-image came to the fore: Jesus,
the Victorious Lamb, who stands at the right of the throne of God in
heaven. The Book of
Revelation speaks of the multitude that sings a new song before the
throne of God and of the Lamb.
On earth, that song of praise is sung in faith;
in heaven, it is sung in the brightness of the beatific vision.
On the threshold of
eternal life, Clare stood before the Lamb like a bride wondrously
The robe of her soul had been washed white in the Blood
of the Lamb.
Docile, submissive and surrendered to the action of His
grace, the Lady Clare had allowed the Lamb to purify, sanctify and transform her whole self through contemplation in the image of the
Letter to St. Agnes of
In the Book of Revelation, we read that the heavenly
I heard around the throne
is the Lamb who was slain
I heard every creature in heaven
Him who sits on the throne
Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy