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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Feast of St. Therese, The Little Flower

The past couple of weeks have been quite difficult for many people in our country. Massive unemployment and economic turmoil reminiscent of the Great Depression might have caused many of us to lose faith in our country and in our economic system. This week’s Feasts of St. Therese and St. Francis are most welcome during these troubling times, since these two Saints lived their lives with complete trust in God’s providence, even during very difficult circumstances.

If you haven’t read St. Therese’s autobiography Story of a Soul, please try to pick up a copy of this wonderful book. The movie Therese is very inspiring, but leaves out many beautiful details of the book.

As an extra motivation for you to read the book, I’ve included a few of my favorite excerpts below:

“One day I was worried about the happiness of the blessed in Heaven. I knew that some saints are greater than other, being possessed of more glory. Well, what about the lesser saints? are they unhappy because of this? Pauline took my little thimble and a large drinking glass belonging to Papa. She filled both to the brim with water. Then, smiling into my anxious face, she told me to look closely. "Which is fuller? The thimble or the glass?" At once I understood. The little thimble represented one soul, the large glass another. Each could hold no more water than Pauline had put in it. Without any trouble I realized the example could also be applied to Heaven. Here the saints reflect just that beauty and perfection which God had decided for them. Each is "full", and there can never be any sorrow because some are little thimbles and others large glasses.”

“I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers. And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus' garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God's glances when He looks down at His feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.”

Therese was 24-years-old when she wrote her autobiography shortly before her death. This year I am also 24, and I am in awe of this Saint who was able to attain such a beautiful trust and closeness to God at a young age. Thus, on my birthday, I asked St. Therese to especially look over me during my 24th year and help me to develop a greater trust in God and become the person that He wants me to be. I’m certainly a very long way from Therese’s relationship with Jesus, but it’s certainly a start!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Vocation Retreats!

Sorry for not posting in a while...here in Virginia, it's ragweed season, so I've been rather sick for the past couple of weeks. Needless to say, I'll need to start preparing for the Feast of Holy Father Francis next week!

The following post is looooooonnnnng overdue....The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are a wonderful group of active sisters based in Wisconsin. A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about their congregation, and since that point, it seems as though they've continued to grow! Their vocation website is one of the best I've ever seen, and underscores the call to live in the world, but not of the world. That being said, their "Franciscanized World" section of the website contains beautiful songs by popular artists, posts on vocation and the Christian life, and much more.

One of the sisters asked me to post the following information on their vocation retreats. If you think you might have a call to the religious life, I encourage you to check it out! :

Vocation Retreats for Young Adult Catholic Women

We, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite young adult single women ages 18 - 35 to join us for retreats on:

Oct. 17-19, 2008
Dec. 5-7, 2008
Feb. 20-22, 2009
May 29-31, 2009

Begins Friday 7.00 pm.
Concludes Sunday 12.30 pm.

Registration is required for this event. To register simply complete the form on the link below.

The cost is $25.00 for the weekend.

Retreats will be held at
Holy Family Convent (map)
2409 S. Alverno Rd.
Manitowoc, WI 54220


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