The Catechetical Saints
Part 16


                        Although there is no medieval documentation to prove it, longstanding Poor Clare tradition holds that July 16 was the date of St. Clare’s birth.  What we are certain of, however, is that as she lay dying in August 1253, Clare of Assisi breathed an immortal Thank You! to the God who had given her life:  May You be blessed, O Lord, for having created me!

St. Clare died thanking God for the gift of life because she had lived thanking Him for it.  She knew that

Human life is sacred because
it involves from its beginning the CREATIVE ACT OF GOD
and it remains forever
in a special relationship with the Creator,
who is its sole end.

                                                   (CATECHISM #2258)

                        Like St. Francis, Clare recognized that man, whole and entire, is WILLED by God (#362), a being created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to Him. (#358)   Contemplating the beauty of her little garden, serving her Sisters in the monastery, offering her ceaseless round of prayer for the needs of the Church and the world heightened St. Clare’s awareness of that simple catechetical truth that we are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for God’s honor and the salvation of our souls.  We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. (#2280)

              Seeing the hand of God in every event, the imprint of His loving providence in every suffering, the evidence of His sanctifying work in her soul and in her Sisters, the heart of St. Clare was filled with joy and praise.  Always and in all things was the measure of her praising love, for this woman, totally come alive in Christ, could recognize and rejoice in that unchanging fact of faith written at the head of the book of life:

 God is infinitely good and all His works are good. (#385)

                        And so, it was not hard to live and die thanking Him.


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