Clare was the noble and lofty tree bringing forth
THE SWEET FRUIT OF FAITH
As Clare of Assisi entered her teen years, her thoughts and those of her family quite naturally turned to the future. Her relatives wanted her to marry well. Yet Clare consistently refused the proposals they arranged. Religious life? There were Benedictine monasteries in the area, but Clare was not drawn to them. Neither was she attracted to one of the small groups of pious women, forerunners of active religious Sisters, who were banding together to live a communal life dedicated to prayer and good works. What then?
Faith is choosing
to stand with the Lord so as to live with Him.
Pope Benedict XVI, Porta Fidei, 10
The turning point came when
Clare heard the future St. Francis preach the Lenten mission at
for a radical choice: to gain the Kingdom, one must give everything.
The delicate 18-year-old who fled home on the night of Palm Sunday 1212, set off without hesitation on the adventure of a new experience, believing in the Gospel as Francis showed her, and in nothing else. This is how Saint Pope John Paul II described St. Clare’s response to the Gospel summons: Repent, and BELIEVE! With swift pace, light step and unstumbling feet, she made her way to the little chapel of St. Mary of the Angels to begin her religious life.
then, is the marvelous yet demanding task awaiting all Christians at every
to grow always in the knowledge of the richness of Baptism and of faith,
as well as to live it more fully.
Saint Pope John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 58
3rd Letter to Agnes of
Leaving all things for Christ, she found all things in Christ.
Repent, and BELIEVE! St. Clare’s conversion, unlike that of St. Francis, was not a turning to God after a frivolous, worldly life. It was, rather, a turning from what was good to something immensely better. As Pope Benedict XVI so beautifully wrote: How could one fail to hold up Clare, like Francis, to the youth of today? Her story, like that of Francis, is an invitation to reflect on the meaning of life and to seek the secret of true joy in God. It is concrete proof that those who do the Lord’s will and trust in Him alone lose nothing; on the contrary they find the true treasure that can give meaning to all things. Letter for the 8th Centenary of St. Clare’s Religious Consecration