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

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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!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Saints and Struggling with Authority

I won't go into details, but I am very disspointed by a member of the clergy with authority whom I had previously respected, whom today came out with a very unwise decision about certain matters. After first learning about this, I admit that I was very angry and upset....with this person, with the clergy, even with the Church. After I "cooled down" via prayer, I realized that my Saints were my dearest friends in this situation! Some of my favorite Saints did not have it easy in the face of difficult figures of authority.

St. Colette, the young girl who is pictured here, wanted to become a nun but discovered that the Poor Clares of her time were seriously misconstruing the Rule of St. Clare. Instead of letting her sadness and dissapointment overtake her, Colette channeled any anger that she might have had into an instrument of change.....and went on to cause major reforms to her Order!

Then think of St. Clare! After she went through her investiture with Francis, he and his brothers took her to a local Benedictine monastery, where she found the ladies there making very bad decisions....treating their servants poorly....neglecting their prayer life....and neglecting each other. Imagine how frustrated Clare must have been- here she risked everything to seek a life of poverty and she wound back in another palace, albeit a cloister! However, she let that experience shape her in a positive way....she became determined to have her "Poor Ladies" live a completely radical way of life.

Even St. Teresa of Avila, when reforming her Order, had to put up with Bishops who gave her alot of trouble when she tried to put into place her various changes. However, an active prayer life gave her the strength to overcome these challenges.

Thus, these three marvelous women made me realize that I need to offer up my anger, sadness ,and disappointment and instead channel my frustrations towards living a life according to the Gospel. Moreover, all of these ladies were contemplative nuns and no doubt they prayed for those very people who had disappointed them- thus, I must follow their example and do the same.

I wrote this prayer for that purpose:

St. Colette, St. Clare, St. Teresa of Avila,
Be my intercessor in Heaven
So that, like you, I may learn to
Pray for those who are against Christ
Pray for those who hurt me
And help me to transform any disappointment that I may feel
into hope that Christ's love will redeem the world
Help me to live my life so that I am a living testament to that hope


Blogger Brian said...

A good reflection, Lynn!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is awesome, thanks for that!

3:11 PM  
Blogger BK said...

I just read your touching post on Amy Welborn's site. After spending a sleepless night fretting over this issue, your post gave me much consolation. My prayers and sacrifices have been directed towards Catholic Renewal at Notre Dame for almost fifteen years. Thank you for sharing your story. It gives us hope.

4:16 PM  

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