Thought for the Day – 11 August – The Memorial of St Clare of Assisi
Clare (a name meaning “shining with light”)
The 41 years of Clare’s religious life are a model of piety and sanctity. She demonstrated an indomitable resolve to lead the simple, literal gospel life as Francis taught her, resisting worldly pressures to dilute the rules of her order. Through her commitment to the Gospel and her unwavering life of prayer, Clare established a new manner for women to live in community and serve the Lord—one of poverty and humility, service and contemplation, and generous concern for others. Saint Clare continues to inspire us today through the example set forth in her life, as well as her writings which survive her.
Her life is one of simple focus. From an early age she dedicated herself to the Lord and through a lifetime of humility, service, obedience, patient suffering, prayer and contemplation, Clare refined her being into a “model of perfection.” Miracles aside, the daily life of poverty and labour resonates today, reminding us of the Lord’s call to us: “He who is last shall be first.” Saint Clare depended completely on the Lord, looking to the Eucharist as a source of joy and sustenance and never taking the gifts of God for granted. Today, on her feast day, we might slow down and contemplate our relationship with the Lord, our dependence, the value we place upon our Eucharistic gift and privilege. How well do we live the advice of Saint Clare: “Totally love Him, Who gave Himself totally for your love.”
St Clare, shining with light – Pray for us!
O wondrous blessed clarity of Clare!
In life she shone to a few;
after death she shines on the whole world!
On earth she was a clear light;
Now in heaven she is a brilliant sun.
O how great the vehemence of the
brilliance of this clarity!
On earth this light was indeed kept
within cloistered walls,
yet shed abroad its shining rays;
It was confined within a convent cell,
yet spread itself through the wide world.
– Pope Innocent IV