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!

Monday, March 05, 2007

COLETTE COUNTDOWN: A Song for St. Colette

'Twas the hour of the flaming out of the sun from the fogs of the North

.... When Colette, as a grain full-ripe, sees the shell burst forth

.... Of the narrow cell she had built twelve feet from the altar of God,

.... Its sill no more to be trod.

.... But now the voice of heaven has sounded: "Forth, and abroad!"

.... No need of enclosure now in the shell of stone;

.... She is free in the salt of heaven, she is walled in light alone.

.... God, knowing good before ill, to this girl has given ..

.. No brief temporal task, but to heal ..

.. The hurts of a Land, of a Church, that are rent and riven.

.... Hell and its works she shall know in the course of a week - and feel.

.... She takes and bends in her hand like a waxen taper the bar of steel;

.... But she is not sent to challenge the devil to duels of steel.

.... The tender harvest of good, the flower of innocent peace.

... She must woo from their root in the earth, so bring surcease.

... Of the choking weeds of sin that blossom in blood.

.... So does Nature herself on the slope of a quiet hill

.... Copy a glorious lily's exuberant bud,

.... While men beneath are destroying and slaying and plotting ill.

.... So then, like a diligent needle, in and out of the torn and ravelled realm of France .

... Glides she, and mends from beneath; and whatever the lance.

... Has left agape, with charity sweet she bindeth in one,

.... Innocent, guided by God, she knows not what she has done:

.... She sees but Him and His ways: she hears but Him and obeys,

.... Mother of hungry little ones, her nestlings that cry from the chinks of the wall -

.... He provideth their food, who marketh the sparrow's fall.

.... Meantime Satan toils with glee, and knows not the ruin to come. -

.... Yet what is there new to be seen on those roads 'twixt Paris and Rome?

.... Behold that woman, frowzily gowned, upheld by Sister Perrine..

.. On a lumbering cart, in her looks the light of things unseen!

.... No doubt the wise political eye to the council at Constance will fly, or study that "man of the moon" - the singular Shepherd from Spain;

.... But we - we will turn from these to a rough Burgundian lane

.... And four or five peasants and women that plod

.... By the oats in the fields, the windmill, the willow tree,

.... And one among them, dusty and poor - Colette. 'Tis she

.... Calmly breasting the hill on her ass, riding direct to God.


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