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!

Thursday, October 04, 2007



In the week or so leading up to today, I had been listening to a mix-CD that I made of songs that remind me of St. Francis. Included on this CD are songs like “All Creatures of Our God and King,” “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus,” “All Good Gifts,” “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” “On This Lovely Day,” and “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say.” After listening to these Francis-inspired songs, I began to contemplate the immense faith that Francis had.

It was certainly rash, and even foolish, for a man like Francis to suddenly forsake the plans that had been in store for him since his youth….he was raised to eventually become a merchant, like his father. When he finally decided to give his life to God, his future was very unclear. Where would he live? Where would Francis get his clothing and food from? What would he “do” for a living?
These are questions that plague many young people. In a time when there is so much pressure put on teens and young adults to define rather nebulous futures, many young people- myself included- spend a large amount of time worrying. In high school, we worry whether we’ll be able to get into a choice college, be able to pay for college, and also worry about our choice of college. After those problems are resolved and we have made it into college, we worry about new issues. What subject will we major in? Will we be able to pass a particular class? Will we be able to find gainful summer employment? As graduation draws near, a whole new set of questions arise. Will we find jobs? Will we get into grad school? The biggest question of all, “What do we want to do with our lives?”

About a month ago, I had a conversation with a young women from one of my church groups. She noted how important it is to place such worries and questions God’s hands, trusting that He will lead us in the right direction. She said something like, ‘a year from now, you’ll be looking back and wondering why you were so worried about your future when God eventually worked everything out for you.”

Francis is the embodiment of this simple trust in God’s love and providence. At first glance, it seems foolish to place one’s livelihood in God’s hands….but Francis understood that when we spend less time worrying about ourselves and trust in God’s providence, we’re able to spend more time loving and living for God and our neighbors. I pray that eventually- through St. Francis’ intercession- I will be able to embrace such a faith-filled mentality!

Below is a prayer by St. Francis:

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful Godgive us miserable ones
the grace to do for You alone
what we know You want us to do
and always to desire what pleases You.

Inwardly cleansed,Interiorly enlightened
and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,May we be able to follow
in the footprints of Your beloved Son,our Lord Jesus Christ,and, by Your grace alone,may we make our way to You,Most High,Who live and rule
in perfect Trinity and simple Unity,and are glorified
God almighty,forever and ever. Amen

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,Thy will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil.

We adore You, Lord Jesus Christ,
in all Your churches throughout the whole world
and we bless You because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world


Blogger Charles of New Haven said...

Happy Feast day, Chiara!

11:07 AM  

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