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!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A "Wilde" Conversion Story

Being sick for the past few days means that I’ve been doing a lot of “resting”- aka, reading and watching TV (after all, St. Clare is the patroness of television!) Given a choice between watching the uber-offensive and degrading Miss America “pageant” (which is just about as classy as its Las Vegas location),and the 1952 version of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, I chose the latter. After watching Earnest and having seen adaptations of a couple of other his plays, I can’t deny that Wilde was an amazingly talented artist with a dazzling wit. Wilde’s incisive humor, truly a God-given talent, is generally free of the baseness to which many modern-day comedians have resorted. I had also heard rumors that Wilde ultimately converted to Catholicism on his deathbed, despite having led a scandalous life. A little internet research tonight confirmed my premonition of Wilde’s conversion to Catholicism.

In the spirit of my December post on Edif Piaf, Oscar Wilde’s conversion is another case of a tormented individual who ultimately experienced God’s love and mercy via the Catholic Church. “Oscar Wilde, Roman Catholic” is a great article by Jeffrey Tucker, who gives a great analysis of the Catholic undertones in Wilde’s artistic works and recounts the touching story of his deathbed conversion. Indeed, Wilde’s conversion is a confirmation that Christ’s love and mercy is open to everyone and anyone that opens their heart to Him and His Church!


Blogger Kelly Joyce Neff said...

Chiara, I was listening to our local Catholic radio the other day and I think the very same fellow you are speaking here - Tucker - was on, talking about the Catholic response to literature which is non-Catholic or anti-Catholic. A listener mentioned Oscar and Tucker discussed his lifelong draw to Catholicism (being born in Dublin, I fail to see how he can have been otherwise than drawn to the faith). Anyway, the story of his lifelong struggle between the upper and lower parts of himself and his deathbed conversion was quite moving. I have always been very fond of Oscar, but I confess, I've always thought his converstion rather more an effect Reading gaol and being exiled in France than anything else. I was quite touched by his real, long struggle.

There is hope for everyone.

8:47 PM  

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