Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Holy Mother Clare

Today is the feast day of one of my favorite saints, St. Clare. As a child, I enjoyed reading about how she spurned a life of luxury and riches to follow St. Francis into a life of joyous poverty. Up until I graduated from college, I harbored a secret desire to live the life of a Poor Clare. Obviously, that didn't happen, but I thought about it often and found myself infatuated with the liftestyle of women who would rise at midnight and again at 4am to chant the Divine Office to Our Lord.

St. Clare eschewed even the most basic physical comforts. Not only did she go without shoes, she slept on a hard floor every night. She was the first to rise each morning to light the candles and ring the choir bell. She didn't eat meat and fasted for long periods of time. At one time she was ordered by her spiritual director to sleep in a bed and eat at least some bread every day, which she was bound by her vows to obey. St. Clare is often depicted holding a Monstrance. Said one historian, "Clare herself was a Monstrance, living her life in complete devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist."

Gaze upon Christ
Consider Christ
Contemplate Christ as you desire to
Imitate Christ - St. Clare of Assisi

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