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!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

St. Clare's Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is without a doubt an important day for all Catholics, but it is also a day of note for all those who have a special devotion to our St. Clare! It was on Palm Sunday of 1212 that Clare heard Holy Father Francis preaching in the cathedral in Assisi. It was his words that prompted her to run away from her father’s house later that night and give herself over completely to Christ.

As it looks right now, I will never have an experience as dramatically beautiful as that of Clare’s conversion. However, perhaps her actions on that Palm Sunday 800 years ago can represent something for us all- the need to “run away” from the sin that is separating us from living out a life that would draw us closest to Christ. While we might not all be called to be Poor Clares, we are all called to live a life that mirrors the Gospel according to the talents and gifts that God has given to us. Once we recognize our vocation, it is our duty to embrace it and never look back- just as Clare never looked back once she left the gates of her father’s castle.

That’s just my two cent’s worth. I also wrote this little prayer to our wonderful Holy Mother Clare:

Dearest Holy Mother Clare, Bride of Christ and Spouse of Poverty,
How much love you showed for Our Lord that Palm Sunday long ago
When you were inspired to follow him to the cross by casting away your selfish desires
And decided to live a life dedicated to prayer, penance, and poverty

On this Palm Sunday, teach me to recognize the love that Christ has for me
And follow your example by running away from all that holds me back from Him
Intercede for me, asking God to help me recognize my vocation more clearly
And to embrace that vocation, never looking back and always looking at Him.


Blogger friar minor said...

Thanks Chiara for the reflection on Clare and passion sunday - such a beautiful moment in the Franciscan story! And we always need to reminded of Clare. After all, she lived what, fifty years or so more than Francis and probably held a lot of the early tradition together!

Thanks and happy Easter!

2:43 PM  

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