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MEMORIAL OF ST. CLARE, VIRGIN, AUGUST 11, 2022



A Reading according to Phil 3:8-14

Brothers and sisters: I consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.


REFLECTION

"I consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish."


Saint Clare of Assisi was a friend of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis inspired Clare with his way of life. Clare's family was wealthy and Clare's father expected to marry his daughters to wealthy suitors. At the age of 18, Clare asked God for a sign to discern His Will for her. On Palm Sunday there was the custom for the young maidens to process down the aisle of the Cathedral and accept a palm branch from a suitor. Yet, Clare stood as if frozen and the Bishop walked to her and gave her the palm. This was her sign. Later that night she fled her home and went to St. Francis to commit her life to God.

Clare was followed by several young women including her sister, Agnes (and later her mother). They formed a community dedicated to living as Jesus Christ lived. in poverty. The group of sisters was named the Poor Ladies, later they were known as the Poor Clares. They lived in poverty, monasticism, and in complete isolation from the world. St. Francis compelled Clare to become the abbess of the community which she did for 40 years until her death.


The sisters walked barefoot, slept on the ground, only ate vegetables, and practiced complete silence. They had no property and lived on daily donations. The pope wanted Clare to stop this strict lifestyle but Clare responded "I need to be absolved from my sins, but I do not wish to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ."


Clare wrote her Form of Life, for the order, which was recognized on her deathbed by Pope Innocent IV. Besides her "indomitable resolve" to live her Form of Life, Clare was known for miracles. One miracle was when the convent was threatened to be overrun by "infidels" she had her sisters carry her out on her sick bed while holding the Blessed Sacrament to defend her sisters. She told them, "Don't be afraid. Trust in Jesus." The attackers fled.


The Catholic Church chose Reading 1 from Philippians and St. Paul's witness, "I consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish,... " This was exactly how St. Clare felt about following Jesus. Let us pray The Act Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


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