Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin

Moses reminds the people of the singular blessings they have received, and tells them that because of all God has done for them it makes perfect sense for them to know the Lord and out of gratitude and love for Him to keep His commandments. As we reflect on the workings of Divine Providence in the world around us and in our daily lives, let us be especially attentive to those who remind us God’s works, those who tell us to count our blessings. Then we will be able to see that the self-denial and loss to which Christ exhorts us (Mt 16:24-25) truly leads to finding the most blessed life which He prepares for us.

St. Clare of Assisi understood this perhaps the best. Having been inspired by the preaching of St. Francis, she decided at the age of 18 to follow Christ as a religious sister. Later she was able to live that life with other sisters in a most thorough observance of the poverty which Christ lived and which St. Francis preached. When the pope came to Assisi in 1228 for the canonization of St. Francis, he tried to convince St. Clare that her observance of poverty was ‘too much’, even offering to release her from her vow of poverty. Her response? “I do not desire to be released from the obligation of following Jesus Christ.” When we are tempted to either impatience or self-indulgence, let us ask St. Clare to pray for us, that we might have the same desire to follow Christ who denied Himself and laid down His life for our sake.

August 11th, 2017