Her particular poetic name reveals her true spiritual calibre. The words of Pope Alexander IV, who canonised her just two years after her death, precisely in 1255, show her impeccable heart for God:
“How vivid is the force of this light and how strong is the clarity of this luminous source! Truly, this light was enclosed in the retreat of the cloistered life and outside it radiated luminous brilliance; it was recollected in a small monastery and expanded outside throughout the vast world. It was kept inside and spread outside. Clare, in fact, hid herself but her life was revealed to all. Clare was silent but her fame cried out” (FF, 3284). Clare, the little plant of Francis, passionately endorsed Jesus’ exhortation for all those who want to follow him seriously. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:16).
Supported by her fraternal friend Francis of Assisi, Clare learned how to love Christ with an undivided heart. For her Christ was the beloved spouse who never lets down the human heart who seeks to love and be loved. In a letter to St Agnes of Prague, daughter of the king of Bohemia, Clare openly expresses her nuptial love for Jesus by inviting her friend to likewise fall in love with Him:
“Loving him, you are chaste, touching him, you will be more pure, letting yourself be possessed by him you are virgin. His power is stronger, his generosity loftier, his appearance more beautiful, his love gentler and all grace finer. Now you are enfolded in his arms, he who has adorned your breast with precious stones ... and has crowned you with a crown of gold marked with the sign of sanctity” (First letter: FF, 2862).
Today, many young women are experiencing terrible disappointments in their love stories. After falling in love with the presumed men of their lives they are finding out, to their utter shock and dismay, that the men they trusted most were simply the same ones who shamelessly betrayed them. Only Jesus never disappoints! If you happen to be one of them why don’t you have a look at St Clare’s Monastery in St Julian’s today at 6.30 p.m.? After the Eucharist you will have the golden opportunity to exchange a word with one of the nuns who will gladly welcome and listen to you. God works in mysterious ways! Why don’t you give it a try?
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