The most holy virgin, Clare, speaks within herself and silently addresses her soul. “Go without anxiety,” she said, “for you have a good escort for your journey. Go,” she says, “for He who created you has made you holy. And, always protecting you as a mother does her child; He has loved you with a tender love. May you be blessed, O Lord,” she says, “you who have created my soul!” When one of the Sisters asks her to whom she is speaking, she replied: “I am speaking to my blessed soul.” That glorious escort was not standing afar off. So turning to another daughter she says: “Do you see, O child, the King of glory whom I see?” (LegCl 46)
Becker, Marie-France. 15 days of Prayer with Saint Clare of Assisi. New City Press. Kindle Edition. 288-294
These are Clare’s last moments and last words, words which start the fifteen days of prayer with the saint in the book mentioned above.
How much does a patron saint impact the one carrying her name? A gulf seems to separate the beautiful young aristocratic Italian woman who left everything to follow Jesus’ “poverty, humility and holy simplicity” from the aging middle-class woman that I am.
Still, there is much to draw me to her spirituality, her profound passion for Christ, her kindness to all, the strength of her spirit to obtain from the Pope what he had no intention to give her (the privilege of poverty), and this natural humility, simplicity and love of poverty, which I would like so much to develop in my own life. She was a great mother abbess to the women who followed her then and an inspiration for all those who have joined her order ever since.
I needed to reach a ripe old age to let myself be caught in the nets of her love and of her holiness. St Clare has so much to teach me. A new journey begins. What a joy.
Show me the way, O Holy One!
Art: Chiara d’Assisi, Simone Martini, 1322-26