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, May 06, 2007

St. Clare's Reflections on Mary

Every girl knows that one of the best ways to a man's heart is through his mother! St. Clare knew that very well when she "married" our Lord, and so she had a very strong devotion to Our Lady! In May, the month that is special to Our Lady, I'd like to share with you this reflection by St. Clare on Mary. This reflection was written by the Poor Clare Nuns of Galway Ireland:

"Cling to His Most Sweet Mother". For St. Clare, Our Lady is always mentioned in relation to Jesus. He is always the focus of her attention, but, being a woman deeply in love, she understands the depths of the love that exists between them. Herself being the 'mother' of at least 50 sisters in her monastery, she knows what is involved in this role. A mother always has time for all her children and has all their interests at heart. She is the unifying one in the family, the place of security when we are afraid, the one we can always turn to, no matter how much we think others may not love us, or indeed, that we may not love ourselves! Jesus gave her to us as our mother in a special way on the Cross and so, St. Clare knows that not only can we approach her in complete confidence and know that we will not be turned away, but we can even (and should) "cling" to her. This image of "clinging" conjures up the way a child who has been lost, might cling to its mother when they are reunited. This is his place of security.

In her 3rd letter, St. Clare says, "Cling to His most sweet Mother who carried a Son Whom the heavens could not contain; and yet she carried Him in the enclosure of her holy womb and held Him on her virginal lap." She marvels that He who is the Lord of the universe not only deigned to humble Himself to become man, but He submitted Himself to voluntarily living in Our Lady's womb - in total dependence upon her. In telling us to "cling" to His mother, she is suggesting that we allow ourselves to be nurtured by her, as Jesus was. To pray with this method, is to develop a relationship with Our Lady and to really turn to her as a mother. If we "cling" to her, as Clare suggests, she won't let us down.


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