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!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


HAPPY FEAST DAY OF ST. COLETTE! On the Feast Day of this wonderful Saint, I would just like to thank all of the Poor Clare Colettines in the world…thank you so much for lovingly praying and doing penance for us in the world!

I’m starting to read “Walled in Light,” Mother Mary Francis’ definitive biography of St. Colette. Through reading the first few chapters of that book, reading the children’s book on Colette, as well as doing research for the past week’s blogspots, I feel as if I’ve gotten to know St. Colette much better and have become very close to her. Colette is a prime example of a woman who through her sufferings was in union with Christ. Indeed, she was a woman who suffered in different ways than most women did for her times. Her search for her true life’s vocation resembles frequent "job hopping," "soul searching," etc. that many modern women might have to go through in order to find their true life’s calling. St. Colette came out of a loving, sheltered household and was thrown into a world of cruel resistance that she encountered from bishops, abbots, abbesses, and laypeople, which is something that many women today might also experience; we come out of loving families and are thrown into a generally mean world. However, somehow Colette found the strength to bear it. Like so many Saints, she was a woman with very human weaknesses who did extraordinary things and whose stories are still very applicable towards our own lives. I’d like to share with you all a letter in which Colette gives us advice as to how to brace life’s challenges:

Dear Lady and especially loved in Our Lord Jesus Christ, as much and as humbly as I can and may, I recommend myself always to your good grace and in your devout prayers and supplications before Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I beg you to strive ceaselessly to go from strength to strength in his most perfect love, remaining continually, strong and virtuous in his most holy and worthy service; for the kingdom is promised to those who set out on this way, but it is to those who persevere loyally that the crown will be given. And as long as we are alive there will be many perils, especially from our enemies, the world and the flesh, who day and night wage war on us in numberless ways.
Against these we must arm and defend ourselves, for it is needful for us to conquer them if we do not want to be overcome ourselves, and, as Saint Paul says, we cannot have the victory without a battle, nor a crown without a victory.

We can do nothing by ourselves without the aid and grace of God. We can neither do good nor resist our enemies. We need to turn to our good and true Master, Our Lord Jesus Christ and to beg him to equip us with his weapons so that we can the more surely overcome. These weapons, among others with which he was armed in this poor world, while bringing about and fulfilling the mystery of our redemption in the face of these three adversaries were: against the world, true and holy poverty from his birth until his death stripped naked on the cross: against the flesh, pure, holy and perfect chastity of heart and body, born and conceived of a pure, virgin mother: against the Adversary, perfect humility and true obedience right up to his death and all in perfect charity.

And whoever is thus armed can go forward into battle with sure heart. In short, these are the weapons with which he has wished to equip those men and women whom by means of his grace he has wished to call into his service, and who have wanted to follow him in the life of the Gospel and the way of the Apostles.

And I beseech him in his infinite goodness always to watch over and guard you completely, and so to enlighten you with his grace, that you may serve him always and endlessly, and love Him in the way of life which is most pleasing to him, and fight for him loyally under the banner of his Church. Thus you will be able to love him everlastingly and reign in his glorious, heavenly palace, for ever and ever.

Your unworthy handmaid who prays for you,

Sister Colette.
Letter to Marie de Boen of Ghent c. 1442


Anonymous gerry said...

Thanks for posting that beautiful letter. It is truly very motivating. Do drop by my humble blog too for some real good and interesting posts.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful post. I enjoy reading your blog.


12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, I just picked Saint Colette as my confirmation name and this was very inspiring.


4:46 PM  

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