A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

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Location: Virginia, United States

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!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart! Thank you all for your prayers in response to my last post- I would appreciate your continued prayers!

When I went to mass this morning, I learned that this will be the only time in most of our lifetimes that the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart will fall during the month of May. Thus, today we have the opportunity to commemorate Mary (since May is her special month) and the Sacred Heart!

I've devoted a number of my past posts to the Sacred Heart, including a reflection from last year, an overview of St. Margaret Mary's life, and a post about Frank Parater's devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Also, here are a few links to Visitation Monasteries, including Monte Maria, which is located about a half hour from my apartment:

Visitation Monastery, Mobile, AL- I haven't posted on this monastery before, but check out the pictures, it looks ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! If any of ya'll have been here before, please leave a comment and tell me!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Be Still, My Soul

Dear friends- Please keep me and my family in your prayers...we all are heading into a time of great anxiety. Hence, I might not be able to post as regularly for the next couple of weeks, but I would appreciate it if you could keep us in your prayers. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of Memorial Day weekend! While it's still the month of May, don't forget to say a few 'Hail Mary's' in honor of Our Lady!

I was in a local Christian bookstore a couple of weeks ago, and the radio played this gorgeous hymn called "Be Still, My Soul". Apparently it's a well-known Lutheran hymn, but having grown up in a 'Gather Parish' I never heard it before. The lyrics perfectly express the importance of having confidence during times of anxiety...indeed, there are many times I wish that I could just turn 'off' my worries like flipping a lightswitch! Click on this link right to hear the tune and read the beautiful lyrics!

May God reward you for your patience and prayers!

- Chiara :-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ven. Francis Libermann: Friend of the Holy Spirit

Happy Pentecost! I hope that you all had a wonderful Mothers’ Day/Pentecost yesterday. I find Pentecost a truly exciting day- it’s so wonderful to imagine how the fearful and timid apostles became courageous, eloquent evangelizers after being filled with the Holy Spirit. Just like the apostles prior to the descent of the Holy Spirit, we all have individual weaknesses and temptations that we must constantly battle. The story of Pentecost reaffirms that we are never left to overcome our weaknesses all on our own; God has the power to help us become the person that He wants us to be through the interplay of His Holy Spirit.
In honor of the descent of the Holy Spirit, I would like to share with you the story of Venerable Francis Libermann, the founder of the Spiritan missionaries. Not only did Libermann have to struggle against external circumstances, such as anti-Semitism and the death of his mother, but he also overcame his own depression and fear of rejection. You can read an overview of Libermann by clicking this link. Here is another excellent reflection of the role of the Holy Spirit in Libermann’s life.

Libermann’s story reminds us that whenever we face doubts, despair, and rejection, we should ask the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with hope and confidence.

"O Divine Spirit, I wish to be like a feather before you, so that your breath may carry me wherever it pleases, and I may never offer it any resistance."
Francis Libermann (1802-1852)

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