A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

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Location: Virginia, United States

Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Reflections on Being Sick

So I've been spending alot of time alone lately, contemplating on the Saints. Why? Well this week I came down with a terrible case of the flu.

At first, I was very bitter, since my illness prevented me from making a long-awaited trip to Chicago as well as throwing a birthday party for two of my best friends. So in a conversation with my boyfriend, I said, "so much for the St. Blaise blessing," which I had previously thought was my Catholic solution to "matza-ball-soup." My boyfriend then pointed out a very important fact: sickness is an opportunity.

So I started to think about my favorite Saints:

Frank Parater came down with a bad case of rheumatism and pneumonia, which ultimately caused his death right before he was supposed to be ordained.

St. Francis had to return home from the war with Perugia because he also had a severe case of influenza. It was this sickness, it is said, that really drew him closer to Christ.

My dear St. Clare was chronically ill for most of her life as a nun- it is thought to have been some sort of Cancer.

St. Therese, the Little Flower, had terrible tubercolosis during the last years of her life.

What do all of these Saints have in common? They all drew nearer to Christ through their suffering via illness. In Frank Parater's case, he offered up his suffering for the souls of non-believers in Virginia. St. Therese offered up her suffering in a similar way.

Thus, we can all view our illnesses as an opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ- to draw closer to Him. Next time you're ill, think of something to offer up your suffering for....for the Poor Souls in Purgatory, for a friend who has fallen away from the Church, for those who are sicker than you are, etc.

Also, I'm going to take this opportunity to curl up and finally watch "Flowers of St. Francis"!


Anonymous Philip said...

An excellent pre-Lenten reflection. Get well soon!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Argent said...

Hope you're feeling better.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Lisa Noonan said...

Hi Chiara.. add my wishes for a quick recovery!


12:23 PM  
Blogger Lisa Noonan said...

Add my wishes for a quick recovery!


12:23 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Great reflection.

And great movie. I watched that one earlier this year, and thought it was just too much.
My favorite part has to be the scene that, if you walked in on the movie without having watched it in its entirety, appears to be St. Francis in a village of cavemen, with a random knight in armor standing by.
Like I said...great movie. :)

10:39 AM  

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