Clare was the noble and lofty tree bringing forth

THE SWEET FRUIT OF FAITH

Blessed is She who Believed!
L
uke 1:45

         ScThe Sisters who testified at the Process for the Canonization of Clare of Assisi did so from firsthand experience. They were eyewitnesses of her holiness, and most of them did not hesitate to compare the Lady Clare to the Mother of Jesus. To those first Poor Ladies, Clare's virtues mirrored Mary's virtues, so much so that the Pope who canonized her called Clare the footprint of the Mother of Christ, Blessed John Paul 11 rightly noted that the figure of Mary accompanied the vocational walk of the Saint of Assisi until the end of her life. Indeed, Clare of Assisi was a radiant image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And the splendor of the Seraphic Mother's radiance is most clearly seen in the realm of FAITH.

Clare's contemplative journey begins precisely in her total abandonment to the Spirit of the Lord in the same way as Mary did at the Annunciation, that is to say, it begins with that spirit of poverty which empties her of everything but the simplicity of a gaze fixed on God.
(B1. John Paul II, Letter for the 8th Centenary of the Birth of St Clare)

 

        Like Mary, Clare heard the Word of God and kept it.(Luke 11:28) Through St Francis, she came to understand God's call in her life and once she understood that call, she welcomed it with an open, generous faith that enabled her to echo the great Marian cry of assent: Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Clare's vocational response, like that of Mary, was a stepping out in faith, a believing that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37) which was to endure for the whole time of her life, Clare, like Mary, was blessed because she believed even when she perceived that there are in God's plan more areas of mystery than of clarity. (RI. John Paul IL Homily in Mexico City, January 26, 1979)

Mary's faith never wavered.  She never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God's Word.
(CATECHISM. 149)


       Clare's Mary-like faith shines forth especially in its consistency, in her willingness to live in accordance with what she believed... accepting misunderstandings, persecutions, rather than a break between what she practiced and what she believed (ct Bt. John Paul It op. cit.) It was faith in God, in Christ, in the Church that enabled the Lady Clare to weather the storms of poverty, labor, trial, scorn and contempt of the world (Rule of St. Clare. 6) without losing the serene certainty that she was fulfilling God's will and serving the mystery of redemption with Him and dependent on Him. (CATECHISM, 494)


Mary, because of her faith, became the mother of all believers. (CATECHISM, 2676)


       By faith, Clare, the unworthy handmaid of Christ, shared in the Virgin Mary's spiritual maternity. She, like Mary, excelled in faith's great art, which is waiting on God's will. Like Mary, she believed especially when she could not see the fulfillment of her hopes, the answer to her prayers, the completion of her life's work. A virgin of listening, like Mary, St. Clare was able to discern the still, small voice of God speaking in the "everyday darkness" of disappointment, illness and fatigue. Clare perceived her vocation as a call to follow the example of Mary, who offered her own virginity to the action of the Holy Spirit to become the Mother of Christ and of His Mystical Body. (Bl, John Paul II) Whether it was waiting for ecclesial approval of her Rule, praying for the conversion of sinners or fanning the flame of fervor in her Sisters, St. Clare met all of life's difficulties and challenges with the quiet confidence of one who truly knew that nothing is impossible for God. And so, almost eight centuries after her death, we can rightly say of her: Blessed is she who believed!



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