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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Clare at the Feet of the Crucified

Clare at the Feet of the Crucified

The theme of Jesus Crucified occurs frequently in the writings of Clare, and there is evidence that her devotion included a daily recitation of the prayer of the Five Wounds.  Furthermore, she recommends in a letter to Sister Ermentrude that she consider herself the spouse of Jesus Christ and “meditate frequently on the mysteries of the His Passion and the sorrows of His Blessed Mother at the foot of the cross.” (Letter to Ermentrude of Bruges)

Our Mother Saint Clare focused her meditation on the God-man, the poor Christ who became the most vile of men: rejected, whipped, beaten mercilessly in his entire body, dying the bitter pains of the cross. (Second Letter of Clare to Saint Agnes of Prague)

Saint Clare, in the silence of her convent, as a worthy spouse of Christ, carried with Him the cross of suffering.  Many were her penances and many her sorrows, but like Mary the Mother of Jesus, she guarded all this agony in the silence of her heart.

When she writes: “Observe, consider and contemplate [Him]with the desire to imitate” (Process of Canonization, 10), she is referring to the mystery of the passion and also to the mystery of the Total Christ.  She becomes an imitator of Christ in the enclosure of San Damiano.  Like the Virgin Mary and Saint John, Clare remains at the feet of Christ Crucified.

The sisters who commit themselves to observe the Holy Gospel are, for Clare, collaborators with God Himself and with the weak members of his ineffable Body.  Therefore Clare herself becomes for them and example and a mirror, so that her sisters might see in her the way to love the cross out of love. (Process of Canonization, 10).

In the temptations, in the painful events, in the difficulties, in the sufferings that besiege the soul and in the trials that accompany the entirety of life, Clare who has lived them all exhorts us to remain firm in God with faithfulness and joy.

Like Clare we must begin again, reserving nothing for ourselves, leaving all for the Lord, dying to ourselves in order to give spiritual nourishment to the world by our sacrifices, trusting in God and His promise.

The last song or our Mother ´s life ends with a canticle that is a blessing for us:  Clare invites us to praise God, to give Him thanks for all the benefits he has bestowed upon us. This blessing is a shout of gratitude for the love that God has for all of us.

- By sister Luz Maria Leyva, president of the Federation of Our Lady of the Angeles, Capuchin Poor Clares,

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