The Lord So Great and Good
only do we have a right, we have a duty
Centuries before the
future Pope Benedict XVI was urging Christians to take seriously their
reason for joy, St. Clare of
The modern reader might be taken aback by this staggering
sentence. Yet, besides
witnessing to Clareís expertise in Latin, this sentence shows the
breadth of her understanding of Godís plan of salvation, her deep
knowledge of Scripture (with references from the Book of Habakkuk and
from St. Paulís Second Letter to the Corinthians), and her unshakable
faith in Jesus Christ as the source of human joy and fulfillment.
But what is the heart of this Clarian admonition, which touches
upon original sin (the dire
poverty of man), the Incarnation (coming
into the Virginís womb), the Eucharist (the
heavenly food) and our final goal (possession of
kingdom of heaven)?
It is that JESUS, the LORD
SO GREAT AND GOOD, willed
to become the Redeemer of man. With
divine freedom He chose to appear despised, needy and poor, to suffer and to die on the Cross. St.
Clare could never ponder enough the greatness and the goodness of this
Lord in His creating, redeeming, sustaining and sanctifying work.
As each new
liturgical year unfolds and the Church commemorates again the beginning
of the story of divine greatness and goodness, St. Clareís summons to
gladness and joy of spirit is repeated.
Contemplating what Christ has done for us, we too have both a
right and a duty to rejoice. Even
more, we have the privilege of allowing this Lord
who is so great and good to
live in us and to shine through us to a world waiting for the joy and
hope that only God can give.
During these past months, the Lady Clare has shown us how to BEHOLD JESUS, deeply, prayerfully, faithfully.
She has accompanied us as we looked with love upon Him who is
Son of the Most High Father
LORD SO GREAT AND GOOD.
And all of us,
Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy