THE SWEET FRUIT OF FAITH
Obedience of Faith
Scripture calls the human response to God, the Author of revelation, the obedience of faith. (CATECHISM. 143) And St, Paul speaks of the obedience of faith as our first obligation. (CATECHISM, 2087) But where can one rightly make this vital human response? Where best to exercise this first obligation? St. Clare of Assisi would unhesitatingly respond: IN THE CHURCH!
St. Clare's testimony shows us how
indebted the Church is to courageous women,
The whole of St. Clare's religious life can be understood as an expansion on that primary question in the ancient Baptismal rite: "What do you ask of the Church?" "FAITH!" For Clare of Assisi, the Church was THE place where the obedience of faith could flourish.
Through faith the person (learns to discern the constant presence
The early sources tell us that after his conversion St. Francis never did anything without consulting the Bishop of Assisi. Thus we can assume that he sought Bishop Guido's advice concerning the religious consecration of St. Clare, just as, years later, the Little Poor Man would bring the Bishop along for moral support when he needed to exhort Clare to moderate her austere fasts. Clare's story, like Francis', had a specific ecelesial trait: an enlightened pastor and two children of the Church who entrust themselves to his discernment, In it, institution and charism wondrously interact. Love and obedience... are rooted in this beautifid experience of the Christian community of Assist, which not only gave birth to the faith of Francis and of his "little plant," but also accompanied them, taking them by the hand on the path of holiness. (Pope Benedict XVI. Letter for the 8th Centenary of the Consecration of St. Clare)