Son of the Glorious Virgin
speak of Him who is
Letter of St. Clare of
If St. Clare’s contemplative gaze rested in adoration on Jesus
as the Son of the Most High Father, it also ceaselessly beheld Him as SON
OF THE GLORIOUS VIRGIN. Like
St. Francis, St. Clare cherished a tender devotion to the Mother of
Christ, for it was she who made
the Lord of majesty our Brother. (Friar Thomas of Celano)
This marvelous mystery - that the Son of God the Father became
the Son of a human Mother, like us
in all things but sin - captivated her attention and elevated her
prayer. Never let the thought of Him leave your mind, was the Seraphic
Mother’s counsel to those who would follow her upon this path of
St. Clare’s virtues resembled the virtues of the Virgin Mary so
much that she was called the footprint of the Mother of Christ.
Her prayer also had a distinctively Marian character.
Like Mary, St. Clare looked on Jesus with a deeply maternal
reverence, wonder and tenderness. Her
prayer and her praise, like Mary’s, were the fruit of pondering deeply
in her heart the mysteries, the mercies and the mighty works of God.
Clare, like Mary, was a woman of silence, a humble handmaid of
the Lord, and a mother of souls.
beheld the SON OF THE GLORIOUS
VIRGIN with the eyes of faith, and her gaze engendered a spiritual
fruitfulness as she was more closely conformed to Christ and transformed
by His love.
Is this kind of beholding beyond the reach of the ordinary
pray-er? Not at all!
St. Francis, in his First Letter to the Faithful, reminds all
Christians that we are mothers (to Christ) when we carry Him in our heart and body through
divine love and a pure and sincere conscience. St. Clare takes this
injunction a step further, assuring us that
the glorious Virgin of virgins carried (Christ) in her body, so without
shadow of doubt you can carry Him in a spiritual way, if you follow the
footsteps of her humility and especially of her poverty.
Poverty of spirit, humility of heart, purity, sincerity and love
empty the soul of self in order to make room for the Lord to come and
make His home in us. But
this Christ-dwelling-within is not a static reality. Like Mary, we too
must “bring Him forth,” we must give Him to the world.
give birth to Him, St. Francis wrote,
a holy way of working
should shine before others as an example.
Doing good to our neighbor “incarnates” the Lord who
dwells within us. Loving one
another with the love of Christ, show forth by your actions the love you
have within you, St. Clare proclaims.
This is the fruit of beholding JESUS,
THE SON OF THE GLORIOUS VIRGIN.
Carrying Him within, we show Him forth outwardly through deeds
which give praise to our heavenly Father.
Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy